Base Salary 

Base Salary is linked to the Israeli minimum wage, currently ILS 5572/month (as of April 1, 2023). More experienced caregivers may ask for more.

It is customary to pay “pocket money” of ILS 100/week as a cash advance, which is deducted from the Base Salary at the end of the month. It is important to note that “pocket money” that is paid over and above the Base Salary is considered additional wages and factor into the calculation of social benefits. In other words, a Base Salary of ILS 5572 “plus” ILS 100 per week is in fact a Base Salary of ILS 5972 per month (in a month that has 4 weeks).

Additions to Base Salary

Like all Israeli employees, foreign caregivers are entitled to social benefits including pension & severance, d’mei havra’ah (convalescence pay), paid vacation and paid holidays:

Pension & Severance

Beginning the 7th month of employment, the employer must put aside each month an amount equal to 12.5% of the Base Salary for pension (6.5%) and severance (6%) which is paid to the caregiver at the end of his/her employment. We suggest putting aside an additional 2.33% of the Base Salary which may be due to the caregiver as Dismissal Compensation (see details below). 

D’mei Havra’ah (Convalescence Pay)

A caregiver who has completed 12 full months of work (in total) is entitled to a d’mei havra’ah at a fixed daily rate, currently ILS 418 NIS. For the first year – 5 recuperation days, for the second and third year – 6 days, and for the fourth to tenth year – 7 days.

Holidays and Rest Days

The caregiver is entitled to one day off (25 consecutive hours) every week, and 9 national holidays (of their choosing, per the calendar of either Israel or their home country). The caregiver may opt to work on one of these days, in which case s/he is entitled to payment at an hourly rate calculated at 150% of the Base Salary.  “Replacement” caregivers who fill in for days off may charge more.

Vacation Days

Caregivers are entitled to 14 vacation days per year. Beginning the 5th year of employment, the number of vacation days increases gradually. As a general rule, vacation days should be redeemed in-kind, i.e., employers should encourage caregivers to take an actual day of leave. Unused vacation is paid at the end of employment at a per diem rate calculated according to the caregiver’s Base Salary.

We recommend keeping an organized record of all amounts owed & payments made to the caregiver and ask the caregiver to sign every time s/he is paid.

Expenses During the Period of Employment

Medical Insurance

It is mandatory to purchase health insurance on the caregiver’s behalf. Depending on the insurance provider, the cost ranges from ILS 6.5 to ILS 7.65 per day.

Food Allowance

Employers are obligated to provide caregivers with three meals a day. Most caregivers prefer to receive a “food allowance” of ILS 200/week to purchase their own food. 

Bituach Leumi

Every employer must make Bituach Leumi payments for its foreign caregiver in an amount equal to 2% of the caregiver’s gross wages (Base Salary, including pocket money, payment for work on rest days and holidays, overtime pay, d’mei havra’ah, etc.). If you receive hours from Bituach Leumi and are employing a caregiver through a nursing care agency, then you must pay 2% on your portion of the wages, i.e., the amount you personally pay to the caregiver each month.

Deductions

From the caregiver’s Base Salary, you may deduct a certain amount for room and board, water, electricity and health insurance and pocket money. The amount of the deduction is set by regulation and varies according to place of residence, and whether the employer rents or owns. Whether these expenses are deducted from the caregiver salary is typically a matter of salary negotiation.

Details can be found here in the Foreign Worker’s Rights Handbook published periodically by the Ministry of Population

Termination Expenses

Dismissal Compensation

If the caregiver’s employment is terminated by the employer, or if the employer passes away or moves to a nursing home, the caregiver is entitled to compensation of one month’s salary for every year s/he worked (2.33% of Base Salary). A caregiver who resigns is not entitled to dismissal compensation. 

Notice

If caregiver’s employment is terminated by the employer without notice, or if the employer passes away or moves to a nursing home, the caregiver is entitled to a final payment as follows: for the first 6 months of employment, 1 day for each month; for the 7th month and up to a year of employment, + 2.5 days for each additional month; after 1 year- one full month.

Housing 

The employer must provide housing to the caregiver for at least one week after the last day of work.

A Few Notes

Bituach Leumi Benefits

Employers who receive “gimlat siyud” long-term care benefit from Bituach Leumi may choose to employ a caregiver directly, or through a private nursing care company. When a caregiver is employed through a nursing care company, the gimlat siyud payment is transferred monthly to the company, and the company shares in the employment obligations in proportion to the level of the benefit, including salary payment and pension/severance contributions.

Supply and Demand

Like any employment relationship, the terms of a caregiver’s employment are negotiable. The caregiver’s base salary can be no less than the Israeli minimum wage, but it is not uncommon for caregivers to ask for a higher base salary, particularly if the caregiver has significant experience, if the care situation is especially demanding or if the employer lives in an “undesirable” location where “supply” of caregivers is low and “demand” for care is high.

Disclaimer

This overview is intended only to be a guide to budgeting for a foreign worker, and should not be relied upon for actual calculations or otherwise.  Laws regarding the employment of foreign caregivers can be confusing and change from time-to-time; for definitive advice please consult your agency, or a qualified attorney or accountant.

Updated 01/10/2023