Could Israel Be Headed for a Five-Day Work-Week?


minister-silvan-shalomThe proposal is not a new one, but this time it may come to fruition.

Israeli Vice Premier Silvan Shalom has long promoted an official 5-day workweek in Israel, with Sundays being a day off. The proposal would require a change in the Work and Rest Hours Law, which currently calls for workdays of no longer than 8 hours (not including breaks) and a workweek of no longer than 45 hours. Shalom’s idea is to give Sundays off, and add a half-hour of work to each day Monday through Friday. Work would end at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon during the summer, and an hour earlier during the winter.

Shabbos and Sunday would thus both be deemed official days of rest.

A political stalemate between Shalom and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu had basically shelved the proposal for the past year. However, a recent meeting of the minds between Shalom and Netanyahu has breathed some life into the five-day-workweek proposal.

A committee established by the prime minister has discussed how to possibly test the idea. The committee is meeting this week with Shalom’s team to determine how and when the idea would be implemented on a trial basis. Netanyahu’s committee is guided by chief of Israel’s National Economic Council head Prof. Eugene Kandel. One possibility is that the proposal would be applied for one Sunday each month at the beginning to see how it goes.

A change in the work week will obviously bring about many changes, including in the educational system, with longer school days, lunch programs, and no Sunday classes.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz has long supported the idea of eliminating the current half day of work on Fridays instead. Last year, Steinitz warned that making Sunday a day off was “too extreme a step,” because workers are already unproductive on Fridays, so they would be left with a four-day work week. He said the price of paying overtime to state employees like those in the health care system for working on Sundays would be astronomical.

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. In America, Sunday is “Shabbos Sheini Shel Galuyos.”

    However, in Eretz Yisrael, having Erev Shabbos as a day off to prepare for Shabbos is more appropriate.

  2. If they will make it a 5-day work week, make Friday the second off-day (in addition to Shabbos Kodesh), rather than Sunday. Friday is already a half a day, and this way the five workdays will all be full-days.

  3. Messianic Government would see things organised into a four day working week i.e. Monday to Thursday. Also the Holy Days for the Muslims, Jews and Christians are Friday, Saturday and Sunday so this plan fits in well
    Productivity is enhanced under the right conditions. All work and no play makes Shmuely a dull boy. All play and no work also makes Shmuely a lazy, non-contributing hedonist. All rest and no work or play makes Shmuely either a hibernating bear or an inveterate dope smoker. A healthy work, rest, play balance can be negotiated for all.

  4. doing this would be going in the ways of the goyim….
    this is a lo sa’ase in the torah
    & would cause another reason to upset Hashem C”V & CAN cause tragic events C”V

    May this not happen