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Israel’s new unemployment plan takes COVID-19 into account

CM 26/04/2021

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The head of the National Insurance Institute (NII), Meir Spiegler, addressed the current state of the employment market, in light of the high number of individuals on unpaid leave, or remain unemployed. Speaking to 103FM Radio on Monday, Spiegler said that the NII is working on a new road map which will assist people who are unable to return to their workplace starting in June. “National Insurance Institute data suggests that there are many adults who want to return to the work force. They want to return to the place they were at before the coronavirus pandemic,” said Spiegler, who explained the incentive for returning to work: a higher grant, even if it is only for a part-time position.  He added that there those in the NII who expect another wave of lay-offs during the summer even begins. “The market is changing. As far as we know, as soon as July, we will see quite many people losing their jobs. “People who were on unpaid leave and their employers left things as is because people were receiving stimulus checks, now they’re going to do something to those who don’t want to return: They will simply fire them,” he said. He added that though Finance Minister Israel Katz’s desire to continue unemployment benefits beyond June is in accordance with the law, but that he thinks that as far as the NII is concerned, people should be encouraged to return to work.

“We need to motivate people to go back to work. In a situation in which someone will refuse to go back for no reason, to return to a work place which is willing to take them back, we think those kinds of people should no longer receive unemployment checks”Spiegler also explained the idea behind the new model to help those who are left unemployed. “We need to help those who wish to return work and are simply unable to, and they should receive help for a time even after June. The plan extends for the next few years.” The plan will modify unemployment laws. “Every person will know how much they receive in comparison to what they are entitled to. “For example, if a person is unemployed, in the first stage he will receive the same amount as his usual paycheck – up to a point at least – the average salary on the market, so that he can focus on finding a new job without having to worry about financial troubles. Afterwards it will begin to scale down, as to motivate finding a job,” he said.”it’s inconceivable that the people in charge won’t be making decisions that will be implemented. “Life expectancy is rising at a rate of 24%, which has a major effect on insurance. All these decisions should also consider the NII’s ability to assist future generations. Right now we can withstand every decision regarding giving benefits to those who deserve them. We are very far from the point in which we can no longer hold up our responsibilities.” Spiegler concluded.
Source: Jerusalem Post

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