Amendment To The Local Authorities Law (Elections)
23/08/2018
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The Local Authorities Law (Elections) (Amendment 44), 5774-2014

On October 30, 2018 general elections are scheduled to be held for the local authorities and regional councils.

Amendment 44 to the Local Authorities Law (Elections), 5774-2014 will apply for the first time to these elections. According to the amendment, the day of general elections for local authorities will be a rest day in those localities wherein elections will take place. This applies, as well, to elections for the regional council by power of Amendment 10 to the Regional Councils Law (General Election Day), 5754-1994.

Employees entitled to a rest day may be absent from work on election day without having a vacation day deducted, and to receive their ordinary wages (apart from employees that have worked for their employer for less than 14 consecutive days prior to election day, as explained below).

Eligible Employees:

An employee is considered eligible for the rest day if one of the following two events occurs:

  1. Their workplace is located within the jurisdiction of a local authority/regional council holding general elections.
  2. Their workplace is not located within the jurisdiction of a local authority/regional council holding general elections, but they are registered in the voter registry of a local authority/regional council holding general elections.

Practically speaking, this means that by all appearances, most of the employees employed at a given workplace will be eligible for a day of rest without deduction of a vacation day. Only an employee whose workplace is not located in a jurisdiction holding general elections AND who does not live in a jurisdiction holding general elections will be ineligible to be absent from their workplace. The requirement to be registered in the voter registry is more formalistic than practical, since this registry is updated automatically by the Ministry of Interior.

The amendment also establishes that an employee employed by their employer for at least 14 consecutive days prior to election day will be entitled to receive their regular wages, as they would have earned had they worked that day. It can seemingly be inferred from this wording that employees working for their employer for less than 14 days, while being entitled to be absent from their workplace on account of the rest day without having a vacation day deducted, would not be entitled to receive their wages for that day. This being said, the phrase “14 consecutive days” can be interpreted two different ways: On the one hand, as a requirement for a minimum of two weeks seniority at the workplace; on the other hand, as a requirement to have worked for the 14 days preceding the election (meaning, without absences on account of sickness or vacation).

In light of the fact that this is an amendment that will be implemented for the first time, we recommend choosing the first alternative, which benefits the workers.

It is clarified that on the election day for local authorities, public transportation and public services will operate as usual, meaning that employees employed in these frameworks are not entitled to a rest day.

Notice regarding services considered to be public services for the purposes of the Local Authorities Law will be published by the Minister of Interior up to 35 days prior to election day, and we will provide updates accordingly.

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