Given the current lack of clarity regarding labor relations following the Corona Virus crisis in Israel, here is a brief reference to some relevant points:
1 - Isolating an employee due to Corona in Israel - Labor law.
2 - Can an employer force an employee to take paid leave because of Corona in Israel - Employment law.
3 - Can an employer put an employee on unpaid leave?
4 - Advice for employers and employees in these times of unprecedented crisis.
Isolation/quarantine of an employee due to the Corona Virus in Israel.
An employee who must be placed in isolation, or whose child must remain in isolation, is not required to submit a medical certificate.
They must inform their employer and complete the declaration form issued for this purpose by the Ministry of Health.
If the isolation is caused by the employee's return from abroad, he or she must enclose proof of the date of return.
Isolation days will be deducted from the employee's sick leave balance, and payment will be made in accordance with the Sick Pay Act, 5776-1976. Unless otherwise agreed between employer and employee.
No employee may be dismissed during the isolation period.
The employer may not dismiss an employee during the period of isolation.
Can an employer force an employee to take paid leave?
An employer may decide to put an employee on paid leave (at the expense of vacation days accumulated by the employee) for a maximum period of 7 days, without warning and without the need to obtain the employee's consent. With the employee's consent, and assuming he or she has accumulated sufficient vacation days, the vacation period can be extended.
Employee placed on unpaid leave.
To send an employee on unpaid leave, the employer must first obtain the employee's agreement.
In the unusual situation we find ourselves in, we strongly recommend that employers consider dismissing an employee who refuses to go on unpaid leave.
Caution: Dismissal of an employee under these conditions is no different from dismissal "in normal circumstances". The employee will therefore be entitled to severance pay - Pitsouim.
See also: Resignation or dismissal in Israel
If the employer decides to end the employer-employee relationship, we strongly recommend that all exchanges be in writing, and that all documents be signed jointly by the 2 parties.
For employees who are in a "protected" period, the usual legal provisions apply (e.g. pregnant women, employees on military reserve (milouim), employees returning from pregnancy, employees on sick leave).
Some important notes for the unpaid leave period.
- According to the Employment Service circular of March 10, 2020, an employee who is sent on unpaid leave for a period of more than 30 days due to the current situation will be entitled to unemployment benefits for this period. Provided he meets the conditions, including the required training period.
See also Unemployment in Israel due to the Corona virus
- According to the Bitouah Léoumi announcement, the right to unemployment benefits will in this case also apply to employees who have an unused balance of paid leave.
- The employer must provide the employee with a letter concerning his or her unpaid leave, stating that the unpaid leave was initiated as a result of the Corona virus.
In addition, the employer must complete a confirmation form concerning the period of employment and salary required by the employee. Form 1514 of the Bitouah Léoumi.
- The employee must complete a form declaring unpaid leave following the Corona Virus crisis in Israel.
- According to the Employment Service publication - the employee must report to the Employment Office once a month.
- The employer must pay social security contributions for the first two months. From the third month onwards, the employee is responsible for payment.
- The employer is not required to make any deposits with pension funds during the period of unpaid leave. (unless otherwise agreed between employer and employee).
The employee may act independently to preserve his pension rights.
Advice to employees :
If you are affected by unpaid leave, we strongly recommend that you continue to make independent contributions to your pension fund, in order to preserve your rights. Contact your insurer for more information.
If you don't have an insurer, don't hesitate to contact us. We'll be happy to recommend French-speaking service providers we trust.
The situation is new to everyone and naturally has no clear instructions. It is important to ensure transparency and fairness, and we recommend that the parties put any consent in writing.
We will be happy to answer any questions you may have on the above or any other subject.
We wish you good health and a speedy return to routine.