Plan to Offer Self-Employed Unemployment Benefits Approved

On Monday, the Ministerial Legislative Affairs Committee approved a long-awaited plan to allow the self-employed to receive unemployment benefits.

While salaried workers are entitled to unemployment benefits when they lose their means of subsistence, the self-employed are currently not eligible to receive such benefits. This discrepancy became a major problem when the coronavirus pandemic forced many to close their businesses.
The scheme was promoted by Yamina MK Abir Kara, who joined politics after helping found the “I am Shulman” movement, which lobbies for benefits for the self-employed.

The bill will be put to a vote in the full Knesset next Wednesday and a preliminary reading is expected to pass, as it has the support of the coalition.

Yamina’s candidate, Abir Kara, attends preparations for the new Knesset on April 5 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The model allows freelancers to choose between two routes:

Under the modality of “self-employed as an employee”, a self-employed worker can issue a receipt of payment for himself and, therefore, be eligible for social benefits.

Under the “Safety Net”, a self-employed worker can reserve a reduced amount for the National Insurance (Bituach Leumi), with a percentage point earmarked for a savings fund that can be used in cases such as illness, unemployment or vacation . . The money that is not withdrawn will go towards a pension.

“My main electoral promise was the creation of a safety net for the self-employed,” said Kara. ‚ÄúThis bill will allow the self-employed to operate with greater security, without being enslaved to the operation of Bituach Leumi. It gives businessmen and entrepreneurs freedom of choice to choose between two avenues. That’s why we fought with the Shulman group before Corona. , and now we are taking another step towards implementing a plan that will solve the problem forever. “

This welcome legislation to equalize the rights of the self-employed and salaried employees, drawn up by the Chamber of Tax Advisors, is a necessary order that will end ongoing discrimination and return control to the self-employed, who are the engines of the economy, “added the Tax Advisor Yaron Gindi, Chairman of the Chamber of Tax Advisers “This is a critical step for the Israeli economy and will encourage our younger generation to turn to entrepreneurship and innovation.”

Separately, the Ministries of Economy and Finance approved a grant of NIS 60 million to cover the rental expenses of companies that suffered closures due to coronavirus in 2020.

Companies whose expenses in 2020 were at least 90% of those in 2019 and whose rental expenses exceed 17% of income will be entitled to a subsidy of NIS 100 per meter (as indicated on the property tax bill and subject to a rental agreement), and up to NIS 120,000 per company.

The application for these grants will be available during the month of December on the website of the Small and Medium Business Authority, with a link that will be available at that time.

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