Israel launches foreign worker reform to deal with labor shortage

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 16, 2024
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JERUSALEM, May 15 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli government on Wednesday approved a structural reform to facilitate the arrival and hiring of foreign workers and improve their labor rights, the Israeli Ministry of Labor said in a statement.

The reform, initiated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Labor Minister Yoav Ben Tzur, aims to maintain the stability of the Israeli economy amidst the ongoing conflict with Hamas, which has caused a severe shortage of both foreign and Palestinian workers across all economic sectors, particularly in agriculture, construction, and nursing.

The new reform streamlines the process of bringing in foreign workers by easing regulations and allocating significant resources to protect labor rights. It increases the maximum number of foreign workers permitted to work in Israel to about 330,000, compared to the about 150,000 working in the country before the outbreak of the conflict in early October last year.

Moreover, the plan substantially reduces fees paid by employers, a measure that will not only simplify the hiring process but also help lower consumer prices and reduce the cost of living, according to the statement.

The reform also promotes the establishment of new Israeli agencies for foreign construction workers to foster competition.

Netanyahu emphasized that the plan will significantly increase the quota of foreign workers while drastically reducing bureaucratic hurdles in their recruitment, adding that the decision is of great importance for Israel's business, economy, and security. Enditem

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