Occupational Welfare in Israel: A Study of Collective Agreements and Benefits

Lilach Lurie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Welfare regimes differ in how they supply social benefits such as pensions, disability allowances, and unemployment funding. In several regimes, the social partners – employee unions and employers’ associations – provide social benefits for workers. These regimes promote occupational welfare. This article aims to study the advantages and limitations of occupational welfare through the case study of Israel – a country in which the social partners promote occupational welfare by means of collective agreements. It examines the ways collective agreements – directly and indirectly – advance occupational welfare in Israel. The research includes a quantitative study of all collective agreements concluded in Israel in the period 1957-2016 and a qualitative study of Israeli collective agreements at the national level. The study shows that although Israel’s social partners lost much of their power during this period, they are still able to promote occupational welfare, and that Israeli social partners promote innovative workplace policies through collective agreements. Several occupational welfare arrangements first introduced in collective agreements were later extended through legislation or extension orders to all Israeli workers. Without collective bargaining, important occupational welfare benefits might have not been introduced. However, state legislation was needed to fix the flaws of these arrangements, including enforcement problems and lack of coverage of the self-employed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-314
Number of pages34
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation968/17
Israel Science Foundation


    • Collective agreements
    • Disability benefits
    • Employee unions
    • Israel
    • Minimum wage
    • Occupational welfare
    • Pension
    • Social welfare
    • The social partners


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