The Wednesday session was split into two. The morning session lasted less than three hours. The afternoon special session in memory of former Prime Minister Rabin was less than an hour. Five bills were discussed and advanced after passing their preliminary readings. The bills advanced force the Finance Minister to report to the Knesset every six months on the implementation of the budget; allow workers to come to terms with their employers on working odd hours or from home; provide security guards protection from both heat and cold; expand the definition of protecting against discrimination in the work place; and grant fathers the right to take time off to spend with their wife and child for at least a week following the birth.

Non-Bills Summary

* Housing Minister Atias (Shas), Social Welfare Minister Kahlon (Likud) and Homefront Defense Minister Vilnai (Independence) answered urgent queries at the beginning of the session.

* A motion on the ‘Strike that is disabling the economy and demands for direct employment of contract workers’ was discussed by nine MKs and Deputy Finance Minister Cohen (Shas).

* House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) announced that MK Shamalov Berkovich (Kadima) will replace MK Abesadze (Kadima) in the Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee. He added that MK Aflalo (Kadima) will replace MK Tirosh (Kadima) and MK Gal-On (Meretz) will replace MK Hermesh (Kadima) in the Funds Committee. He noted that MK Hermesh will replace Gal-On and MK Levin (Likud) will replace MK Danon (Likud) in the Law, Justice and Constitution Committee.

* A Special session was held in memory of former Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, marking sixteen years since his assassination. Speaker Rivlin, Deputy Prime Minister Ya’alon (Likud), Opposition Leader Livni, Defense Minister Barak (Independence) and Labor Chairwoman Yachimovich all gave warm speeches about the fallen leader.

Bills Summary

Amendment to the Foundations of the Budget Bill

MK Levin (Likud) explained his amendment would force the Finance Minister to report to the Knesset every six months on the execution and implementation of the Knesset budget.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 26-0 and was sent to the House Committee.

Amendment to the Work and Rest Hours Bill

MK Ilatov (Y.B.) explained his amendment would allow certain workers flexibility in which hours they work and allow certain workers to work from home. He promised to advance the bill in line with the government’s wishes.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 27-0 and was sent to the Labor Committee.

Posts for Security Guard Workers Bill

MK Ben Simon (Labor) explained his amendment would require employers to provide their security guards shade from the sun and the heat. He added that the employer will have to offer a heated post during the cold winter months.

Industry and Trade Minister Simhon (Independence) expressed government support for the bill.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 30-0 and was sent to the Labor Committee.

Amendment to the Employment Services Bill

MK Shai (Kadima) explained his amendment would expand the prohibition of discrimination in the work place to include both the 1959 version of the bill and the 1988 version. He explained that both versions have their own merits and merging the two will protect most Israeli populations from discrimination in the work place.

Industry and Trade Minister Simhon expressed government support for the bill.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 37-0 and was sent to the Labor Committee.

Amendment to the Sick Pay Bill

MK Ariel (N.U.) explained his amendment would present equal rights to fathers. He said that fathers are discriminated against and don’t receive paternity leave. He added that the amendment would allow a father to take seven days of absence for girls and eights days for boys.

Industry and Trade Minister Simhon expressed government support for the bill.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 29-0 and was sent to the Labor Committee.

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