According to a law which was legislated in 2014 and only now implemented, 20 percent of the wage of asylum seekers will be deposited into a special bank account. In addition their employers will be required to deposit 16 percent of the wage which would normally be allotted to the worker’s pension and to the future of severance compensation into that same account. And the asylum seekers would theoretically gain access to the money saved, only upon leaving the country. Israeli bank, Mizrahi Tefahot, has won the tender to manage these accounts, and has already informed its’ investors that the policy would improve its liquidity and reserve ratio, because the money will not be accessible to its owners, and the bank can use it to offset loans.
They policy is intended to discourage asylum seekers from entering Israel or from working in Israel, but as most of the asylum seekers in Israel are refugees from Eritrea or from Sudan, escaping conditions of slavery and mass murder, one really wonders if the policy will act as a deterrence, or merely as a mechanism to make the lives of these refugees even harder than they already are. As refugees are usually forced to work in precarious and low wage jobs, garnishing a significant part of the wages make it very difficult for them to make ends meet.
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