The minimum wage in Israel has been raised by NIS 350 to NIS 4,650 (just over $1,200), as of Friday morning, and will be felt in the paychecks of about 600,000 Israelis in the salaries for the work done in the month of April.
The raise is the first step in a three-stage agreement signed before the latest election by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Avi Nisenkorn, who chairs Israel's umbrella labor federation, the Histadrut.
The third and final step is scheduled for January 1, 2017, when the minimum wage will be raised to NIS 5,000. Later, in April of 2017, the minimum wage will be linked to a level of 47.5% of the average wage in the market.
The Bank of Israel, which opposed all past decisions to raise the minimum wage, supported the move, surprising many.
According to Israel Hayom, about 54,000 disabled and elderly people requiring nursing care will be hurt by the raise since they will have to pay their nurses more but will not be immediately compensated. However, the Finance Ministry and National Insurance Institute have promised to compensate this population immediately after the new government is formed, and to do this retroactively for April as well.