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Client updates / Employment
On June 1, 2021, the regulations that guided the conduct of workplaces during the coronavirus crisis expired. Accordingly, from this day forward, there is no longer a requirement to operate in accordance with the green tag or purple tag directives in the workplace. At this stage, holding gatherings, professional trainings, and group meals at the workplace is permitted, even without observing social distancing.
One of the possible contractual forms between parties is the provision of services as an independent contractor (in colloquial terms, a freelancer). This type of contracting is not particularly favored by labor courts, which seek, as a policy matter, to apply employment relations in cases involving claims of the existence of an employee-employer relationship. Once in a while, labor courts establish new rules on recognizing employment relationships and on retroactive calculation of the rights of independent contractors as employees.
Yesterday, a labor court ruled for the first time that, under particular circumstances, employees who have not been vaccinated or do not present a negative coronavirus test may be denied entry to the workplace.
This past year has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for employers in Israel, in terms of both their business activities and their role as employers. Now, when we can perhaps see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel in the form of Israel’s vaccination campaign, quite a few questions arise.
Israel entered another general lockdown, which began at midnight (January 8, 2021) and will continue until January 21, 2021. We have summarized the main guidelines concerning workplace activity during lockdown. The final and binding version of the regulations regarding workplace activity during lockdown have yet to be published.
The Collective Agreements Law provides that the union must represent the majority of unionized employees to whom the collective bargaining agreement applies, and no less than one-third of the total employees to whom the agreement applies. The union must notify the employer of its claim to be recognised as a representing body and the employer may examine the signatures of employees joining the union.
Israel’s Privacy Protection Authority published its guidelines and emphases for protecting the privacy of individuals when conducting COVID-19 epidemiological investigations in workplaces.
Last July, the National Labor Court issued an important ruling on a service user’s obligation to take part in the termination and hearing process for contract workers employed on site. According to that ruling, the extent of the service user’s participation in the hearing depends on the circumstances. Accordingly, in our previous update, we tried to predict the criteria that would be taken into account, in order to analyze how the National Labor Court’s ruling should be applied in various scenarios.
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, many employers have been forced to reduce employees' salaries. Such reductions, when not made through agreements or in an orderly fashion, may be fertile ground for claims regarding material worsening of work conditions, effective termination proceedings, and creating a stress-filled work environment.
The COVID-19 crisis has thrown many employers into economic difficulties. In these uncertain times, many employers are asking themselves if they are obligated to pay their employees bonuses. Just before the end of 2020, the Tel Aviv Regional Labor Court issued a new ruling on this very subject.
A statutory amendment to the Economic Assistance Program Law (Novel Coronavirus) (Temporary Order) arranges payment for employees absent from work due to mandatory quarantine. The new arrangement stipulates that an employee entitled to sick pay from the first day of absence is also entitled to quarantine pay from the first day of absence.
Yesterday the Court granted the State’s request to extend the period during which employees may use paid sick leave for time in quarantine until October 28, 2020. As you may remember, the Supreme Court repealed an order from the Ministry of Health, according to which a sweeping medical certificate was given to employees in quarantine due to possible exposure to COVID-19. This repeal was to have entered into effect on September 30, 2020.
The lockdown entered inְto effect on September 25, 2020, at 14:00, and is expected to continue until October 10, 2020. It is possible at the end of this period the lockdown will be extended. We have prepared an in-depth update for employers on the relevant topics.
A nationwide lockdown in Israel is to take effect on Friday, September 18, 2020, from 2 p.m., to last for at least 14 days, (the restrictions may be extended, in full or in part, as determined by the Israeli government). While the regulations are currently pending final approval by the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, they are expected to be enacted late tonight or early tomorrow.
An important ruling regarding workplace authority figures and the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace has established that one cannot automatically assume sexual comments or advances by an employee with managerial authority constitute sexual harassment. In this ruling, it appears, the National Labor Court has tempered to some extent widespread notions about sexual harassment by an authority figure.
According to a new amendment to the Male and Female Workers (Equal Pay) Law, employers must publish a yearly report outlining wage gaps between female and male employees. The amendment provides that certain employers must draft an internal yearly report detailing the average salary of their employees and the average wage gaps between men and women within each group of employees in the workplace.
The National Labor Court recently handed down an important ruling that concerns many employers in the market engaged with service provider companies. The National Labor Court ruled that although there were no employee-employer relations between the employee and its employer in this matter, the service user still had to take part in the employee’s termination and hearing process, in addition to the obligation of the direct employer to hold the hearing.