The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved a proposal to extend paid maternity leaves to 15 weeks and to provide additional benefits to parents.

Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved a proposed law today by MK Rachel Azaria (Kulanu), which will extend the maternity leaves in Israel by a week. If the law will be approved by the full Knesset, it will take effect already in 2017 and the paid maternity leaves in Israel will be extended to 15 weeks.

The proposal includes other benefits for parents. For example, mothers who chose to extend their maternity leave to 6 months will still be able to enjoy discounted day care. As of today, mothers who are defined as not working after 14 weeks of maternity leave are denied this discount.

Also fathers are expected to benefit from the new reform. For example, the partner of students who gave birth can take her maternity leave in the event that they don’t work and they won’t be forced to return to studying before their maternity leave finishes.

In addition, the minimum time allotted to fathers taking advantage of maternity leave will go down from three weeks to one week, which will enable more of them to take advantage of this opportunity to participate.