Sanctions (Civil & Criminal)
The Israeli Immigration Authority – The Population, Immigration and Border Authority (The Ministry of the Interior) (“PIBA”) has started to conduct periodic inspections to ensure that companies comply with local law concerning the employment of expats in Israel. The inspections are intended to make sure that foreign employees are lawfully being employed and have a valid B-1 working visa. Israel has specific rules for employing foreign employees such as the Foreign Workers Act (Unlawful Employment) – 1991, further to which an employer undertakes to provide his employees with suitable accommodation and a salary that must be more than twice the average monthly salary in the Israeli market.
There is an increasing trend to initiate criminal proceedings against employers and their managers (personally), that unlawfully employ foreign employees. The penalties involved with unlawful employment are currently as follows:
- According to the Law of Entry into Israel, 1952, a person entering Israel without a permit, or committing a breach of one of the conditions of his entry permit, is committing an offense and the punishment is one year’s imprisonment. Such a person may be deported.
- Under the Law of Entry into Israel, 1952, a person entering Israel without a permit, providing false information to obtain for himself or another a visa or a license to reside, committing a breach of one of the conditions of his entry permit, or who violates any other instructions or regulations of this law commits an offense and the punishment is one year’s imprisonment. In the last couple of months we have also witnessed a few offenders of respectable companies being deported.
Those employing a foreign worker who is not permitted to work in Israel according to the Law of Entry will be subject to a fine of around ILS 75,300 (approx $ 20,350) or two years imprisonment.
Further to the Foreign Workers Act, an employer who employs a foreign worker who does not have a work permit according to the Law of Entry into Israel will be liable to pay fines defined under the Criminal Law, 1977 of ILS 58,400 (approx $ 15,780) and an additional fine of ILS 5,600 (approx $1510) per worker for each day that the offense continues.
In the event that the foreign worker is employed unlawfully, the punishment may be up to one year’s imprisonment or a fine of ILS 116,800 (approx $ 31,568).
These figures may be amended from time to time according to Governmental decisions.
It is important to note that if the offense was committed by a corporation, any person who was responsible for the matter, shall be charged with the offense, unless it is proven that the offense was committed without his knowledge or that he has taken all the necessary measures to prevent its occurrence.
The above procedure is relevant to all sectors requiring Work Visas in Israel, including within the Energy sector.
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