Conduct that provides an opportunity for partnership

The willingness of 'Small and Medium Business' employers to ensure a pension for their workers has led the Finance Ministry to reconsider the employers' entitlement to unemployment benefits. This may provide an opportunity to build a social partnership in Israel.

Recently employers of 'Small and Medium Businesses' agreed to allocate pension funds for their workers. In return, the Finance Ministry is reconsidering a proposal that will ensure unemployment benefits in the case an employer is forced to close down his business.1 This is an initiative that the 'Small and Medium Business' organization has been promoting for a long time and which the Finance Ministry has only recently agreed to.

The link between these two events indicates the potential trend between three actors in the public sphere: employers, employees and the government.

The cooperation between the Finance Ministry and independent employers is based on the logic of mutual dependence. Just as the employees are dependent on their employers, 'Small and Medium Businesses' depend on the government to provide a safety net in a time of need. According to a recently approved socio-economic policy, the government aims to promote steps that reduce the scope of poverty.2 The Marker reports that the Finance Ministry only decided to support independent employers following their willingness to ensure pension insurance for their workers.

In this context, the Reut Institute recognizes an opportunity for a gradual process of building partnership between sectors which will serve:

  • Short term interests - the understanding that cooperation between actors in the public sphere will promote the utilization of the interests of each of the participants.

  • Long-term interests - in a more advanced stage, the appearance of trust among sectors in the public sphere can facilitate the foundations for a 'Tomorrow Before Today' discourse - a discussion that focuses on short term concessions in exchange for the fulfillment of a common vision of improving the Quality of Life of all citizens.

Sources

Zvi Zarhia, The Marker, 12.12.07, Full article.



1 The proposed law currently being debated in the Knesset still has some questions that have not yet been resolved including the question of which 'Small and Medium Business' employers will be eligible for unemployment benefits.

2 See: Socio-Economic Goals for Policy 2008-2010 formed by the National Economic Council and approved by the Government in April 2007.