State pledged to facilitate the employment of Palestinians undergoing family unification in Israel: It now turns out that their employers are charged a “foreign worker” tax המוקד להגנת הפרט عر HE wheel chair icon
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02.11.2014
State pledged to facilitate the employment of Palestinians undergoing family unification in Israel: It now turns out that their employers are charged a “foreign worker” tax
State pledged to facilitate the employment of Palestinians undergoing family unification in Israel: It now turns out that their employers are charged a “foreign worker” tax
A petition filed by HaMoked (HCJ 6615/11 Salhab et al. v. Ministry of Interior et al.) led to a January 2013 decision that Israeli stay permits given to residents of the OPT whose family unification application had been approved by the Ministry of Interior, would also constitute work permits. This change was meant to allow Palestinians living in Israel under the family unification procedure to integrate into the Israeli job market and to encourage Israeli employers to hire them. But this is not how it turned out.

In computerized payroll systems, Palestinians who have Israeli stay permits under the family unification procedure are defined as “foreign workers” and as such, their employers are automatically required to pay a “foreign worker tax” equal to 20% of the worker’s wages, which makes hiring Palestinians unattractive. The tax fatally damages Palestinians’ chances of finding work and turns the arrangement reached in the Salhab case into a dead letter.

On September 15, 2014, HaMoked contacted the Israeli tax authority, demanding it update payroll systems so that employers would not have to pay the foreign workers tax for employees living in Israel under the family unification procedure. HaMoked stressed that the reason for the tax, which is to disincentivize hiring migrant workers contradicts the state’s undertaking in the Salhab case, noting, by way of comparison, that employers of Palestinians from the OPT who only have Israeli work permits, are not required to pay the tax.

HaMoked received the tax authority’s response on October 29, 2010, indicating that “a Palestinian worker under family unification meets the definition of ‘foreign worker’ under Section 1 of the Foreign Workers Law 5751-1991”, and therefore, “his employer… must pay the foreign worker tax”.

HaMoked strongly objects to this outrageous and unreasonable decision and plans to take action to have it rescinded. As recalled, the people in question did not enter Israel solely for the purpose of working and for a limited time. They are people who chose to make their homes in Israel with their spouses and children and they maintain a permanent center of life in the country. If it were not for the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order), most of them would have received civil status in Israel by now, and so it is unclear why the state insists on excluding them from the job market, forcing them to become a burden on the welfare system.
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A petition filed by HaMoked (HCJ 6615/11 Salhab et al. v. Ministry of Interior et al.) led to a January 2013 decision that Israeli stay permits given to residents of the OPT whose family unification application had been approved by the Ministry of Interior, would also constitute work permits. This change was meant to allow Palestinians living in Israel under the family unification procedure to integrate into the Israeli job market and to encourage Israeli employers to hire them. But this is not how it turned out.

In computerized payroll systems, Palestinians who have Israeli stay permits under the family unification procedure are defined as “foreign workers” and as such, their employers are automatically required to pay a “foreign worker tax” equal to 20% of the worker’s wages, which makes hiring Palestinians unattractive. The tax fatally damages Palestinians’ chances of finding work and turns the arrangement reached in the Salhab case into a dead letter.

On September 15, 2014, HaMoked contacted the Israeli tax authority, demanding it update payroll systems so that employers would not have to pay the foreign workers tax for employees living in Israel under the family unification procedure. HaMoked stressed that the reason for the tax, which is to disincentivize hiring migrant workers contradicts the state’s undertaking in the Salhab case, noting, by way of comparison, that employers of Palestinians from the OPT who only have Israeli work permits, are not required to pay the tax.

HaMoked received the tax authority’s response on October 29, 2010, indicating that “a Palestinian worker under family unification meets the definition of ‘foreign worker’ under Section 1 of the Foreign Workers Law 5751-1991”, and therefore, “his employer… must pay the foreign worker tax”.

HaMoked strongly objects to this outrageous and unreasonable decision and plans to take action to have it rescinded. As recalled, the people in question did not enter Israel solely for the purpose of working and for a limited time. They are people who chose to make their homes in Israel with their spouses and children and they maintain a permanent center of life in the country. If it were not for the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order), most of them would have received civil status in Israel by now, and so it is unclear why the state insists on excluding them from the job market, forcing them to become a burden on the welfare system.
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