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Israel: Increased Authority for Enforcement of Foreign Workers Law

(Nov. 23, 2010) On November 15, 2010, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) extended the authority enjoyed by supervisors appointed under the Foreign Workers Law, 5751-1991 by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Employment and by the Minister of the Interior. The Law regulates the granting of employment permits to foreign workers and the terms of their employment, including the provision of medical insurance and of suitable living conditions.

The current Law authorizes both Ministers to designate supervisors for its enforcement. The supervisors are authorized to request employers, their designees, as well as employment agents to provide information and documents relevant to the enforcement of the Law. The supervisors are also authorized to enter “at any reasonable time” any private office or work location suspected of being used as a location for the work or residence of a foreign worker, for the purpose of verifying compliance with the Law.

The recent amendment authorizes supervisors to request an entry warrant from a judge of the regional labor tribunal or a circuit court when the conditions for entry into the premises listed above have not been met. (Foreign Workers Law (Amendment No. 13), 5771-2010, Knesset website, & Bill, (both last visited Nov. 19, 2010); Foreign Workers Law, 5751-1991 (as amended), SEFER HAHUKIM [Book of Laws, the official gazette] 5771, at 112.)