Introduction:

This guide focuses on the main issues related to the rights of employees during the coronavirus outbreak
If you are above age 60 and are facing dismissal or unpaid leave it is recommended to check the special guide for employees over age 60
If you are self-employed or freelancers and you do not have any employees see the special guide for self-employed and freelance workers
See also the coronavirus outbreak FAQs page on the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services website


Updates

Receiving Unemployment Pay for Employees on Unpaid Leave
  • 02.04.2020: We have added information regarding leniencies in charges for car use for employees sent on unpaid leave.
  • 29.03.2020: We have added information regarding leniencies in conditions of eligibility for unemployment benefits.
  • 29.03.2020: We have added information about coping with financial difficulties.
  • 25.03.2020: The new restrictions regarding gatherings and business operations have been updated according to the new emergency regulations
  • 22.03.2020: We have added information about the new emergency regulations limiting the number of employees allowed in the workplace at one time
  • 22.03.2020:We have added information about the emergency regulations limiting places of work and leaving the house
  • 17.03.2020: Ministry of Labor updates regarding places of work
  • 16.03.2020: Tax coordination extensions for the 2019 tax year
  • 15.03.2020: Ministry of Health guidelines for workplace conduct
  • 15.03.2020: Reduction of job hours or salary

Prohibitions of Gathering, Working and Leaving the House

  • Each day the government publicizes guidelines or regulations regarding the restrictions people have from leaving their homes as well as the number of people permitted to gather together.
  • The regulations also define which types of work places are allowed to operate and what restrictions they have such as the maximum number of workers in a workplace and other rules of conduct they must uphold.
  • The guidelines and regulations are updated daily.
  • For detailed information regarding the updated guidelines and regulations see Prohibitions of Gathering, Working and Leaving the House.

Tax Coordination Extensions for the 2019 Tax Year

  • The Tax Authority notified that all 2019 tax extensions will be valid through May 2020 salaries.

Employing Workers for Overtime Hours

  • Due to the coronavirus crisis, the Minister of Labor has granted permission for workers to be employed for overtime hours beyond the permitted number of overtime hours in a regular day.
  • According to the Ministry of Labor guidelines, beginning 17.03.2020 through 17.05.2020, a worker can be employed for overtime hours if the all of following conditions are met:
    • An employee may work 14 hours at a time, including overtime hours, up to 8 times a month. For the remaining days he may work up to 12 hours a day (including overtime hours).
    • A worker may not be employed for more than 67 hours (including overtime) a week.
    • A worker may not be employed more for more than 90 hours of overtime per month.
  • For additional information see Employing Workers for Overtime Hours during the Coronavirus Crisis.

Employees (or their children) in Quarantine

Attention
Family members of someone in quarantine are not able to use Sick Days to care for their family members because we are not talking about an illness of the other person. This applies specifically to someone whose spouse or children are in quarantine. They are only allowed to use sick days if their parents or spouse are completely dependent on them for everyday activities because of their illness.

Employees who are Sick with Coronavirus

  • An employee who becomes infected with coronavirus because of exposure to someone who is infected in his workplace may be recognized as a work injury and may be entitled to an injury allowance from the National Insurance Institute.
    • For additional information on submitting a work injury claim see submitting an allowance claim for work injury victims.
    • New work injury claims will automatically be approved by the National Insurance Institute for a period of 30 days (even if the initial medical certification is for a shorter period of time), unless an earlier date to return to work is known.
  • Other employees that miss work because they are sick with coronavirus are entitled to Sick Pay according to their accrued sick days as long as they have a medical certification.
Attention
If an employee was put on unpaid leave, and was subsequently diagnosed with coronavirus, he is not entitled receive sick pay, because the employment relationship is suspended during the unpaid leave period.

Forced Vacation Days at the Expense of Annual Vacation

  • An employer is permitted to decide when an employee must go on vacation and utilize his accrued vacation days.
  • Likewise, the employer is permitted to determine ahead of time, certain days that employee has to take concentrated leave (forced).
  • The employer is therefore allowed to require the employee to use his vacation days during this period, provided that the employee has enough accrued vacation days.
  • The employer may not force the employee to take vacation at the expense of unpaid vacation days.
  • The employer must give advance notice of the planned leave, and if it is for a period of one week or more, the employee must be notified two weeks in advance.
  • For additional information see annual vacation.
Attention
Forced vacation for government service and public sector employees. According the emergency regulations, certain employees in the public sector were sent on vacation from 19.03.2020 through 16.04.2020 at the expense of their annual vacation days. For additional information see Forced Vacation for Public Employees because of the Coronavirus Outbreak.

Reduction of Work Hours or Salary

  • An employer may, with the consent of the employee, reduce the employee's salary or the scope of his job, in order to save on employment costs.
  • However, reducing the scope of a job without the employee's prior consent may be considered a tangible deterioration in the working conditions for which the employee may resign and be entitled to the same rights as someone who was fired, such as: severance pay (even though he was not fired), continued full-time employment or pay during the notification period and other payments made at the end of a job, such as: cashing in for unused convalescence days and vacation days.
  • Salary reductions can have implications for the employee's pension rights and National Insurance Institute rights.
  • For additional information see Reduction of Wages or Job Scope because of the Coronavirus Outbreak.
Attention
  • Income supplement recipients that work for low salaries who are have to stop or reduce their work because of the coronavirus crisis will coontinue to receive the supplement for March and April 2020.
  • For information and updates see the National Insurance Institute website.

Sending Employees on Unpaid Leave

National Insurance payments for employees on unpaid leave

  • The employer is obligated to make National Insurance payments for the employee for 2 full calendar months during which the employee is on vacation (if the employee receives unemployment benefits during these months, the National Insurance contributions will be deducted from the unemployment benefit, and the employer does not have to pay them himself). Someone who is employs a domestic worker is not obligated to make these payments for an employee that is on unpaid leave.
  • The employer may deduct the amounts he has paid from future payments due to the employee.
  • The payment that the employer must make in each of the first two months is NIS 348 (6.57% of the minimum wage, as of today).
  • The payment is only for 2 full calendar months during which the employee was on leave. If they worked during a certain month, National Insurance contributions are deducted from their salary.
Example
  • An employer sends his employees on unpaid leave on 12.03.2020. The employer is required to pay National Insurance contributions for April and May (because they were still employed in March, eventhough it was only for part of the month). Additionally, the regular deductions will made from the employees' March salary.
  • If the employees return to work on 30.4.2020, the employer is not obligated to make National Insurance payments for the leave period because the employees are considered to have worked during the two months (March and April) and therefore the National Insurance contributions are deducted from their salaries.

Pension plans and continued education funds

    • The employer is not required to an employees pension plan or continued education fund during the time the employee is on unpaid leave.
    • It is important to make clear to employees that a stop in pension or managers' insurance contributions may have a negative impact on the employees pension rights and particularly on their insurance coverage. This is something that can leave the employee without coverage and can potentially make it hard for or prevent him from purchasing insurance like this in the future.
Tip
During a period of unemployment during which contributions to his pension plan aren't being made, an employee can preserve his accrued rights through a risk settlement or by making his own contributions to the pension insurance fund.

Unpaid leave and sick leave

Not Scheduling Shift Workers

  • In certain places of work where employees are assigned to shifts (and are paid accordingly), instead of firing their employees or sending them on unpaid leave, employers prefer to simply not assign them to shifts, without indicating a date on which they will be assigned again.
Example
Waiters who don't have regularly scheduled work days.

Firing Employees

  • An employer who chooses to fire employees is obligated to first give them a hearing and only afterwards make a final decision.
  • If the decision after the hearing is to fire the employee:
    • The employer has to give advanced notice to the employee before the dismissal can take effect and is required to continue employing him until the notification period is over. The length of the advanced notification period is determined by the employee's seniority.
    • The employer can immediately dismiss the employer and compensate him for the amount he would have been paid if he had continued working during the advanced notification period.
  • Upon termination of employment, the employer must make the following payments:
  • It is forbidden to:
    • It is forbidden to fire an employee during a period of time for which he is getting Sick Pay, including an employee who is in quarantine for suspected coronavirus.
    • It is forbidden to fire an employee that is on maternity leave and there is no way to obtain a special permit for this from the Ministry of Labor.
    • It is forbidden to fire an employee that is doing mandatory reserve duty and in certain cases after he returns.
    • When firing employees the employer may not discriminate against someone based on sex, sexual orientation, personal status, pregnancy, IVF, fertility, race, age, parenthood, religion, nationality, country of origin, outlook, political views, or reserve service, and they cannot be fired only because one of the above reasons.
  • In cases of pregnancy, fertility treatments, surrogacy and adoption:
    • It is forbidden to fire a pregnant woman who has worked for the employer for at least 6 months and it is forbidden to worsen her work conditions during her pregnancy and for 60 days after she returns from maternity leave unless a permit to do so is obtained.
    • Similarly it is forbidden to fire employees who are undergoing fertility treatments or are in the process of adoption or surrogacy.
    • There is an option to request a special permit from the Ministry of Labor in order to allow these dismissals.
  • For additional information, see:

Receiving Unemployment Pay

  • Employees that are fired are entitled to unemployment pay as long as they meet the other conditions of eligibility such as: [[:he:תושב ישראל

|being an Israel resident]] )foreign workers and Palestinians are not entitled to unemployment pay), the qualification period, and being between ages 18 and 67.

  • Additionally:
    • Beginning 01.03.2020, anyone who is on unpaid leave for at least 30 days is also entitled to unemployment pay even though he was not fired (in accordance with the conditions of eligibility). For additional information see Unemployment pay for employees forced to take unpaid leave because of the coronavirus crisis.
    • Employees that were fired or sent on unpaid leave for at least 30 days between 01.03.2020 and 19.04.2020, and don't meet the qualification period condition are able to collect unemployment pay as long as they have worked (ie have a qualification period) of 6 of the previous 18 months.
  • Additional measures of relief include:
    • An advance payment of up to 2,000 NIS for the month of March.
    • Eligibility is extended for for those who received all the unemployment days they were eligible for the period between 01.03.2020 and 30.04.2020.
  • For additional information see Leniencies in Eligibility for Unemployment Pay during the Coronavirus Crisis


Special National Insurance Institute Grant for Employees above age 67

Parents of Children with Disabilities and Employees with Disabilities

  • A parent of a child with disabilities who is not currently in an educational setting and is in need of care, and assistance because of his disability will be entitled to 18 days off from work (if he is not put on unpaid leave) to assist his child at the expense of his accrued sick days or vacation days. in addition they are entitled to be absent from work for 52 hours per year without a salary deduction.
    • In some cases, the employee may be absent for 36 days a year at the expense of sick leave or accrued vacation days, plus 104 hours without deduction from pay.
    • A parent of a child with disabilities who is absent from work to assist his child at the expense of his accrued sick days is entitled to the payment of sick pay at the rate of 100% of his salary from the first day of his absence.
    • This right is given to a parent of a child with disabilities who has worked for at least one year in the same workplace if (in addition to the other criteria) all of the following conditions are met:
    1. The child is not in any framework during this time period (educational or other).
    2. The child requires supervision, treatments or assistance because of the disability.
    3. The parent is not on unpaid leave.
    4. The parent is not a public employee who is required to take forced paid vacation because of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • People with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities may not be fired or sent on unpaid leave, if the reason for firing or placing on leave is because the employee is a disabled or is a parent of a child with disabilities.
  • For additional information:

Discrimination is prohibited when determining the future of employees

  • When deciding to fire, send employees on unpaid leave, or reduce their salaries/job scope, the employer may not discriminate against someone based on sex, sexual orientation, personal status, pregnancy, IVF, fertility, race, age, parenthood, religion, nationality, country of origin, outlook, political views, or reserve service, and these things cannot be part of the consideration of the decision.
  • For additional information see Discrimination is Prohibited in the Workplace

Coping with Financial Difficulties

Government Agencies

Government Agencies Call Center Expedited Services
The Ministry of Health Kol HaBriut hotline ‎[tel:*5400 *5400 ]
Municipal Hotline (in most cases) 106
Home Front Command Call Center for Civil (non-medical) Emergencies 104
Employment Services ‎‎*9687 Initial online report to the employment office
The National Insurance Institute *‎[tel:*6050 *6050 ] Unemployment pay claim online claim form
The Agency for Small and Mid-size Businesses Maof businesses hotline ‎[tel:*8794 *8794 ]
SHAYAL (Guidance for Citizens) 118 (Unemployment, unpaid leave, consumerism etc.) Contact through Facebook
The Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services Social Services hotline 118
The Israel Tax Authority
  • Tax authority call center (general) ‎*9848
  • Property tax call center ‎*4954
The Population and Immigration Authority National Information and Service hotline ‎[tel:*3450 *3450 ] Online contact form on corona related topics for foreign workers/Palestinians
The Ministry of Education *Hotline for Parents and Students
The Office for Social Equality Senior Citizens center hotline ‎[tel:*8840 *8840 ] Online contact for for the senior citizens center
The Authority for the Rights of Holocaust Survivors Holocaust Survivors Services Center hotline ‎[tel:*5105 *5105 ]


Aid Organizations

Information, Guidance and Support

Organization Center details and website link Hotline number
United Hatzalah, Israel Association of Community Centers, and Lev Echad Emergency Hotline for Humanitarian Assistance During the Corona Crisis 1221 (no star)
The New Workers Union (Histadrut) Information hotline regarding rights in the workplace during the coronavirus crisis *2383
"Be-Atzmi" On My Own Emergency hotline for coping and support in the area of employment *2119
The Israel Bar Association Initial legal assistance in issues related to family, labor, National Insurance and execution laws 050-5588072 (whatsapp)
Chasdei Lev Hotline for Tools and Tips for Good Financial Family Conduct 077-3377930 ext. 3
Israel Consumers Council Consumer Services Hotline 1-700-727-888
Tene Briut Amaharit Hotline for Coronavirus Related Questions (prevention, protection and Ministry of Health guidelines). Sun-Thurs 8:00-21:00 04-6323544
Rotem Center and Yated Program Yated Call Center for Adolescents in Hebrew and Arabic List of call center numbers
HMO Emotional Support Hotlines "Clalit"

"Maccabi" "Meuechet" "Leumit"

* ‎*2700 extension 8, 3
  • *3555 extension 1
  • *3833 extension 8
  • *507 extension 9
Eran and the Israel Trauma Coalition Help hotline for those suffering from corona related anxiety 1201 ext. 6
Tamar - Eran and the Israel Trauma Coalition Arabic help hotline for those suffering from corona related anxiety 1201 ext. 2
Sahar - Online Assistance and Support Digital support and emotional assistance for people in emotional distress
"A New Dawn in the Negev" Emergency hotline for the Bedouin population to help cope with the coronavirus crisis The hotline is open on Sun.-Thurs. from 10:00-16:00. 08-9966561
ENOSH Hotline for parents and adolescents age 12-25 suffering from emotional crisis 054-9299723

Assistance for those in home quarantine

Organization Center details and website link Hotline number
Appleseeds Academy in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Equality and other organizations Assistance for people people who need help with technology (Using Zoom, filling out online forms, etc) *055 -2750238 for Hebrew (call the number or text the word "help")

*055 -2750239 for Arabic (call the number or text the word "help")

United Hatzalah, Israel Association of Community Centers, and Lev Echad Emergency Hotline for Humanitarian Assistance During the Corona Crisis 1221 (no star)
Yad Sarah Delivery of medical equipment to the house 02-6444639
Lev Echad Assistance with shopping, gathering medications etc. 02-6762044
Friends for Health Medications for Home-bound Individuals 054-7123930
Dor L'dor Personal assistance for senior citizens who are worried about leaving the house *3284

Additional Information


Credits

English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.