Starting in 2017, there will be six long weekends a year in which people need not work on Sunday. That would make a three-day weekend: Friday, Saturday (the Sabbath) and Sunday.
The number of school days will remain the same as two of these long weekends will fall during the summer and the other four during the Passover and Hanukkah vacations.
Under the plan, the number of long weekends would gradually increase until Sundays would become a permanent non-workday. Israelis work on average 43 hours per week compared to 40 hours for countries in the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). Studies by the OECD and Israel’s Histadrut labor union found that longer workdays result in lower productivity.
Reducing work days will bring the country closer to the OECD average but it could also result in longer hours during the remainder of the week. Nevertheless, Orthodox Jews who prepare for the Sabbath on Friday and who do not drive on Saturday can now enjoy at least one day of family outings.