ISRAEL: Increased Workplace Inspections

October 2, 2013

This year, workplace inspections by the Ministry of Interior in Israel have increased dramatically.

Over the last few weeks alone, local authorities in Israel have made several unannounced worksite visits to a number of multinational corporations involved in national projects.

The number and frequency of these visits is expected to continue or even increase over the next few months.

In the past week, Micron Technology Corporation was caught with 22 US and Singaporean nationals working for them without valid work permits. These individuals were interviewed on site and having been determined to be working illegally, were subsequently ordered to leave the country.

There have been other reports of more than 220 foreign workers deported following similar inspections. The police force within the National Immigration Authority carried out inspections, during which a significant number of migrants were found to be without work authorisation and were subsequently arrested and deported from Israel. These migrants will now require special permission should they wish to re-enter Israel. Furthermore, it is reported that immigration related information from the raids will be shared with other countries, such as the US and EU Member States. This means,  corporations and individuals at senior or director level would face criminal charges for employing unauthorised workers.

The Ministry of Interior has further advised on follow-up investigations as an enforcement measure to ensure full compliance with labour laws, including regulations on wages, housing conditions and medical insurance.

Implications for employers in Israel

–          In the case of Micron, the employees were provided by a contracting firm who had the responsibility for arranging the work permits. Israeli employers should be reminded that all agreements with contracting firms supplying the workers must be clear about who has responsibility for permit applications.  This is particularly important in the case of large projects involving complex contractual arrangements.

–          Employers are also advised to assess contractors” and sub-contractors” immigration compliance and to warn managers of criminal liability for any unauthorized workers.

–          Employers should ensure that all employees/assignees in Israel have the correct immigration documentation by conducting right-to-work checks prior to the individuals undertaking any work

–          Foreign nationals in Israel are strongly advised to carry their passports with them at all times

–          With future inspections likely, employers are strongly advised to review all business visitors” activities in Israel to ensure that these activities are permissible under business visitor status. 

If you have any questions about the workplace inspections in Israel, please contact us to discuss further.