Labor Law Update | April 2020
Labor Law Update – The Coronavirus
Dear Clients and Friends,
Following our previous updates, we hereby inform you of new decisions of the Israeli Government, issued on March 31, 2020 and entered into effect as of April 1, 2020, tightening the restrictions on workplaces operating in Israel and employers’ obligations, as detailed below:
Limiting the Number of Employees in a Workplace
Under the above-mentioned Government decision, the current emergency regulations as we updated you in our updates of March 24 and March 26, 2020, have been amended, and further limit the number of employees arriving at the workplace, as follows:
(i) Reducing the number of employees who are allowed to be present simultaneously in a workplace to 15% of all employees or 10 employees, whichever is higher.
(ii) Restricting the arrival of any “back-office” employees (i.e. employees who are not engaged in the core business operations) to the workplace, excluding cleaning, security and IT workers.
(iii) An employer who believes that he is required to have a greater number of employees (up to a maximum of 30% of all employees), or any “back-office” employees who are not excluded which are essential for the business activities, may allow them to be present in the workplace, provided that an application to the Director-General of the Ministry of Economy was submitted (such application should include the employees’ details and the reasons they should be allowed in the workplace. The specific procedure for such application’s submission has not yet been published).
(iv) Prohibiting business operations that are open to the public other than if such is required for providing an essential product or service, provided that the employees engaged in such activity are as limited as possible.
(v) If a business operation is based on shifts, the employer shall, to the extent possible, schedule the same group of employees in the same shifts.
(vi) A workplace that was excluded from the limitations on the number of employees present, will not allow any “back-office” employees to enter the workplace, other then such employees that are required for the ongoing operations of the business and to the extent it is essential that the such employee shall perform his/her job on-site.
Instructions for Employers
Furthermore, the Israeli Government issued an amendment to the emergency regulations, under which instead of the requirement to measure temperature at the workplace by the employer, the following shall apply:
(i) All employees shall be required to measure their temperature before arriving at their workplace, and to declare that their temperature is not above 38°C, and that they have no other related symptoms (i.e. cough, difficulty breathing). The language of such declaration has been published and is attached.
(ii) The employee will be required to sign and submit such declaration each workday. The employer will be required to retain the forms. Under certain circumstances, an oral declaration may be sufficient.
(iii) The employer must maintain a distance of two meters between all persons within the workplace. If such is not possible, the employer must take other measures to prevent the Coronavirus spread.
(iv) As far as possible, each employee will be assigned with his own personal equipment (e.g. landline phone, keyboard). The employer shall ensure that any equipment that being passed between different employees is sterilized.
(v) Employers shall be required to provide guidance on hygiene maintenance and shall allow such hygiene maintenance.
(vi) Elevators shall be permitted to be used by no more than two people simultaneously.
Please note that our firm is at your service during these unique times. We are continuing our work and are available by email, telephone, and, if required, even face-to-face meetings where permitted.