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Israel: Extension of Parental Leave for Birth of a Child

(Apr. 12, 2010) On March 17, 2010, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed an amendment to the Women's Labor Law extending the leave to which a parent is entitled after the birth of a child. The extension of the leave from 14 to 26 weeks is designed “to enhance the connection between the newborn to his parent in the first months of his life, because this connection has special importance.” (Women's Labor Law (Amendment No. 49)(Extension of Birth Leave), 5770-2009, the Knesset Website, .)

This extension, however, does not extend the period of leave paid for by the Institute of Social Security. The extension of unpaid leave may only be used by an employee who has worked with the same employer or at the same place of employment for a period of at least 12 months prior to taking the leave. Leave connected with a birth of a child may also be used by a father, for a period generally not exceeding 14 weeks in addition to a portion of the leave used by the mother, under conditions enumerated by the Law. (Women's Labor Law (Amendment No. 46), 5770-2010, Knesset website, (last visited Apr. 9, 2010).)