Government Makes Disabled Employment Agreement Universal

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By Jenny David 

Oct. 8—Economy Minister Naftali Bennett has expanded a union-inspired agreement on disabled hiring to the entire Israeli workforce.

By adding his signature to an agreement signed in June between the Histadrut National Labor Federation, the Israel Business Association and the Lahav Association for the Self-Employed, Bennett has now required all Israeli workplaces with at least 100 employees to ensure that the disabled comprise at least 2 percent of their workforces within a year and 3 percent within two years.

Each workplace must also appoint an employee to oversee the optimal integration and representation of disabled workers and the quota's timely implementation.

“Today we are saying to society that no one is transparent and we care about each and every person,“ Bennett said at the Sept. 21 signing ceremony. ”We are working for people who do not always have a lobby. We—each and every one of us—are serving as the lobbyists of people with disabilities.”

Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkorn, who promoted the initiative for more than two years, said that the agreement “is important not only for workers with disabilities and their families, but also for the rest of the employees and employers because, in the end, it will advance the economy.”

“Workers with disabilities can integrate into every field of activity, ranging from hi-tech and traditional industry to any other field,” Nissenkorn added.

Tzvika Oren, chairman of the Business Association and president of the Israel Manufacturers Association, also praised the Economy Ministry's decision to expand the scope of the original agreement, adding that it would allow the Israeli economy to tap into the potential of more than 780,000 additional workers.

According to Lahav, only 48 percent of the approximately 800,000 disabled Israelis of working age are currently employed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jenny David in Jerusalem at correspondents@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at rvollmar@bna.com

For more information on HR law and regulation, see the Israel primer.