‘Employer bias against Charedim and Arabs’

By Nathan Jeffay, April 11, 2014
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Some 37 per cent of Israeli employers prefer not to hire Charedi men, according to a new survey which points to widespread discriminatory attitudes among bosses.

An even higher proportion of employers, 42 per cent, prefer not to hire Arab men. Bosses also admitted to being reluctant to hire Charedi or Arab women with children, with 27 per cent preferring not to take Charedi women and 41 per cent preferring not to take Arab women.

The survey was commissioned by the Economy Ministry. Ziona Kenig-Yair, the ministry’s equal opportunities commissioner, said that the figures “raise serious questions about the attitudes of the public in general and employers in particular, to employees from different populations.”

Questioned about how the Economy Ministry is dealing with the problems raised in the survey, Michal Tzuk, its deputy director general, said that getting Charedim and Arabs more integrated into the workforce did not only depend on education.

“It’s also employers, so they can recognise the advantages of a diverse population to their business,” she said.

Ms Tzuk said that the ministry will dedicate a special budget of £85 million to Charedi employment over the coming years, and put tens of millions into employment for Arabs.

Money will be spent on explaining the experiences of large firms that do employ minorities to smaller companies that are hesitant to do so.

Last updated: 6:45am, April 11 2014