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Coronavirus

Over a Third of Israeli Tech Companies Consider Layoffs due to Coronavirus

A fifth of Israeli tech companies expect to miss their annual budget targets for 2020 due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic, according to new data by Israel’s Viola Group

Hagar Ravet 12:2116.03.20

A fifth of Israeli tech companies expect to miss their annual budget targets for 2020 due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic, according to a new survey published Sunday by Israel-based Viola Group. Viola sampled 135 tech companies in its survey.

 

As a result, 5% of domestic tech companies already have an existing layoff policy, while 33% are currently working on their layoff plan, according to the survey.

Workers wearing masks. Photo: Shutterstock Workers wearing masks. Photo: Shutterstock

 

On Saturday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upped Israel’s containment restrictions again, closing all educational institutes, including kindergartens and daycares, special education systems, youth camps, and boarding schools until further notice.  Because of the increasing restrictions, 7% of the surveyed companies said they are shortening workdays for parents, while 9% said they will require their employees to use vacation days if they wish to take time off to supervise their children. A fifth of the companies, 21%, said they will “fully compensate” employees for time taken off due to school closures.

 

The government has encouraged employees to work remotely if possible, and 49% of the surveyed companies said that they already require at least some of their Israeli employees to work from home. The remaining 51% of companies said employees could choose to work from home on a voluntary basis.

 

Israel’s tech industry seems to be relatively sheltered, however, compared to other domestic industries such as hospitality and tourism. Moshe Yifrach, deputy CEO at the Israeli Employment Service, told Calcalist that he estimates the number of unemployed people registered with the agency will grow by 40%-50%, or 60,000-80,000 people, by the end of the week. If Yifrach is correct, Israel’s unemployment rate could jump from 4% to 5.5%-6% within a week.