More than five years ago, the Law to Encourage and Promote Women in the Workplace was passed, but it has yet to be implemented. This is due to an ongoing delay of writing the regulations in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Employment (today the Ministry of Economic Affairs). After a few months of intense work involving the cooperation of the Committee on the Status of Women and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the regulations will be approved.

In a special discussion on September 9 at 10:00 the regulations are expected to be approved by the committee and the law will be implemented. Committee Chair MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), Minister of Economic Affairs Naftali Bennett and retired Judge Dalia Dorner will be participating in the discussion.

The Law to Encourage and Promote Women in the Workplace was passed in 2008, however it was not implemented because the regulations were not finalized. The Committee on the Status of Women held a number of debates in which it demanded the finalization of the regulations. As a result, the public committee, chaired by Dalia Dorner, finished defining the criteria and, together with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Justice, finalized the regulations.

The law’s main goal is to change the business culture and to adapt workplaces for parents and specifically for women. In order to do this, the law has set grants, signs of recognition and other incentives for employers who integrate parents in the workforce.

Employers who want to be eligible for a grant will need to present data about how their organization has accommodated the working parents. These employers will also benefit from positive exposure. In essence, this is a change in policy – as opposed to the affirmative action that was used in the past- that encourages strengthening gender awareness, which necessitates widespread education.

Leading up to the discussion, Lavie said: “Though the Law to Encourage and Promote Women in the Workplace was passed in 2008, it was buried and was not brought to the service because no one tried to enforce it. This is another example showing that the Committee on the Status of Women must inspect and oversee the implementation of laws that already exist. Approval of these regulations will lead to a change in consciousness about the State`s responsibility to make workplaces accessible to women specifically and to parents in general.”