The Labor, Welfare and Health Committee, under the auspices of MK Haim Katz (Likud Beitenu) unanimously approved of the first reading of the bill by Karin Alharrar and members of the committee MK Haim Katz, MK Adi Koll and MK Ilan Gilon. The law will give paternity benefits (and not just vacation as set forth by the current law) to a husband in instances that the wife is unable to take care of the baby due to disabilities or sickness, including issues caused by the birth.
Katz said that ”This is a very important bill. Until now we have been prevented from giving paternity benefits in these cases because the woman would continue to receive the general disability allocation and this will stop that.”
MK Alharrar explained that she has no personal connection to the bill because she does not receive disability benefits. She added that ”Paternity benefits will be given to the man so that the family can continue to live. I expect that the National Insurance Institute will be able to meet the goals for which it was created.”
The representative of the National Insurance Institute, Lawyer Michal Mazuz remarked that the purpose of maternity benefits is to replace the salary received by the mother until she goes out to maternity leave. ”This bill allows for benefits for the husband of a mother who has not even gained eligibility. Therefore, we suggest that in its place, a special allocation be given for 3 months to a new mother who receives 75% disabilities or more, for a total of 2,800 NIS a month in addition to the regular disability benefit that she receives.” Mazuz also alleged that that the cost of the MK Alharrar`s bill will be 16 million NIS a year.
MK Katz wondered how the position of the National Insurance Institute did not match that of the Minister of Welfare who is in charge of the institute. Katz demanded that they submit to the committee the facts that led to their calculation and declared that the sponsors of the bill will meet with the National Insurance Institute and the Finance Ministry in order to create an outline that would allow for the a new mother who suffers from disabilities to receive welfare.