Finally approved by the Knesset: Proper representation for workers with disabilities in public agencies and organizations of at least 5%

a woman in wheelchair works in an office

On August 3, the Knesset's Plenum passed by second and third readings a new law under which, every public agency and organization employing 100 workers or more must employ people with substantial disabilities that would represent at least 5% of its work force. This law also stipulates that each such agency and organization appoint a disability employment officer who will oversee the implementation and annual reports of this new law.

In addition, every public agency and organization employing 25 workers or more will appoint a disability employment officer and advertise once a year any positions intended for people with disabilities.

On August 3, 2016, The Knesset's Plenum passed by second and third readings the Equal Rights for People with Disabilities Bill (15th amendment) 5776-2016 proposed by MKs Yoav Kisch, Itzik Shmuli, Karin Elharar and Meirav Ben Ari and a group pf MKs.

It was determined that any public entity employing 100 workers or more will be obligated to a representation of people with substantial disabilities as set forth in the bill, which is at least 5% of its work force. These 5% must include workers with substantial disabilities (disablement degree of at least 40%, except Ministry of Defense's recipients of disability pensions, whose degree of disablement must be at least 20%, people with Blind certificate, people with hearing disabilities who require communication support services, people entitled to rehabilitation and people who receive disablement minimum wages).

Each such public entity must appoint a disability employment officer, who will oversee the implementation and annual reports of the law. As part of their duties, the disability officer will handle petitions and applications regarding the employment of people with disabilities, initiate activities to raise awareness and provide information, offer counseling and guidance regarding the obligations of the public entity they serve and make sure the law is adhered to in their organization.

The law further stipulates that every public entity with 25 workers or more should also appoint such disability employment officer who will be in charge of proper representation of people with disabilities in the organization and will advertise, annually, positions within the organization intended for disabled candidates.

In addition, the law provides that the inspection to determine whether the proper representation target has been met will be performed by the National Insurance Institute, and any public entity not meeting said target will have to prepare and publish in that year an annual inclusion plan to promote the integration of people with disabilities in the workplace, including provisions regarding reverse discrimination and position designation and manning. This will be done with the assistance of the relevant factors in the field of integration.

The bill further stipulates that the Commissionership for Persons with Disabilities may issue an order to provide information as well as a proper representation order to any employer failing to prepare, publish or implement such annual inclusion plan. Failing to comply with this order constitutes a criminal offence. The relevant Minister was authorized to determine that in certain agencies and organization only some of the position holders would be considered. Special provisions were included in this legislation regarding IDF, Israel Police, Israel Prison Service and Magen David Adom.

Failing or refusing to comply with these obligations will be sanctioned by a fine of 75,000 ILS and another fine for every additional day of such breach.

A provision for a mandatory 5% representation for people with substantial disabilities is also included in the Civil Service Law (Appointments) 5719-1959, affording certain authorities to the Civil Service Commissioner, also providing that every Government Ministry is obligated to appoint a proper representation officer.


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