By Amit Acco, Partner

Israel is trying to deal adjust the employment arrangements and Work Permits for Palestinian construction workers, by proposing a new program that will shift the employment system to private HR personnel companies.

Currently, the employment of Palestinian workers is done through direct contact between the workers and the contractors. In this process, the contractor requests the work permit for the employee from the Ministry of Interior. Prima facia, the state is supposed to monitor and make sure that those employed workers will receive all the social rights they deserve.

It seems that Israel has failed in managing the employment system of the Palestinian workers at the construction sites in Israel, and it is now handing the task over to private hands, namely designated licensed HR companies, similar to the practice in the employment of foreign nationals in the constructions, agriculture, and health care industries.

According to the Ministry of Interior announcement, they are currently designing a change of the employment method of the construction workers from the West Bank and Gaza – with the introduction of personnel corporations that will handle the licenses for the workers, instead of the contracting companies.

This proposed change, which is still being examined, will lead to the simplification of the bureaucracy and the streamlining of the employment procedures of the workers at the various construction sites, and as a result also to a reduction in the phenomena of exploitation of workers and work permit brokers.

To align with the industry, the Ministry of Interior issued an online survey, for employers of Palestinian construction workers, with the aim of examining the current situation in the employment method of Palestinian construction workers. Click here for the survey.