Israel: A Guide to Prevent Collapse During Coronavirus

Erez Greenberg December 09, 2020
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    We have gathered information on what measures you can take as an employer in Israel to help preserve your employees while keeping your business intact. As more information comes in, we will update this post.

    February 7, 2021

    Israel has eased its third nationwide lockdown, lifting the 1,000-meter travel restriction, and reopening businesses that do not cater to the public, restaurant takeout services, businesses with individual interactions, nature reserves, national parks, heritage sites, and Israel Antiquities Authority sites.

    Airports and schools remain shut.

    January 17, 2021 

    Israel will possibly extend the current lockdown as the infection rate is still high. The current lockdown is set to expire on January 21, 2021.

    December 27, 2020

    At 5 pm today, Israel will enter into a 2-week lockdown.

    • One cannot go further than 1 kilometer from their place of residence. Some exceptions include going to a permitted workplace, seeking medical treatment, or individual exercise.  Those found in violation face a 500 NIS fine.
    • Ban on entering another’s place of residence
    • Closure of all non-essential shops
    • Kindergarten-4th grade and 11-12th grade will continue in-class learning, while grades 5-10 will be moved to remote learning.
    • Workplaces with 10 or more employees must restrict capacity to 50% or a total of 10 employees, whichever is higher.

    Restrictions are set to expire on January 9, 2021.

    December 24, 2020 

    Israel announced a 2-week lockdown that will begin 5 pm Sunday, December 27th, and is set to last for 2 weeks.

    Lockdown rules have yet to be approved, however, the following are proposed:

    • Restaurants will be allowed to offer delivery services
    • Movement will be restricted to 1 kilometer from one’s home
    • Public transportation will be limited to 50% capacity
    • Gatherings will be limited to 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors
    • In-class learning will be allowed for Kindergarten-4th 11th and 12th-grade students will have in-class learning from 8 am to 1 pm
    • Individual sports
    • Individuals will be restricted from entering other’s homes, with exception of immediate family members
    • Workplaces that do not accept customers will be limited to 50% capacity
    • Shops and cultural establishments will be closed

    December 9, 2020

    Israel had previously announced a nightly curfew, however, this has been put on hold for now as the legality of a night curfew has been put to question.

    Starting today, Wednesday, December 9, 2020, malls and open markets, and museums will be allowed to open.

    November 17, 2020

    Israel has announced that children in grades 5-6 will return to in-class learning on November 24, and grades 11-12 will return on December 1, 2020.

    October 12, 2020

    Israel’s lockdown has been extended to October 18, 2020. In addition, the Health Ministry has unveiled a 4-month plan that will slowly ease the lockdown restrictions.  The plan proposes target dates of when more restrictions will be lifted, however, may be adjusted based on the number of positive tests.  The first stage will begin October 18, 2020, but is contingent on the number of new cases to be less than 2,000.

    October 7, 2020

    The Israeli government has extended the emergency lockdown to October 13, 2020. Measures include the limit of gatherings to 20 people and the inability to travel more than 1 kilometer with the exception of for getting food, medical reasons, or going to work.

    September 29, 2020

    Israel has announced that the government does not see the possibility of the current lockdown to last as initially planned and will have no choice but to extend it. On Wednesday, September 30, the coronavirus cabinet will convene to discuss, among other things, a gradual lifting of the current restrictions from the current lockdown.

    September 22, 2020 

    The Israeli government has announced an aid package plan worth 10.5 billion NIS to assist with businesses that have seen a 25% loss of revenue due to COVID-19. This aid will assist with grants to help small businesses retain their employees, assist with business expenses.  Once more information is published regarding how this plan will be executed, we will update this post

    September 14, 2020

    As of September 18, 2020, Israel will impose a 3- week nationwide lockdown where one will not be able to venture further than 500 meters from one’s place of residence, unless for the purpose of medical services and essential things such as food and medicine.

    April 13, 2020

    The Israeli cabinet has approved an emergency regulation that now permits employers to place pregnant employees on unpaid leave. This regulation eliminates the need for the employer to receive permission from the Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services Ministry before placing the employee on maternity leave. This was approved to allow those affected by the current crisis to receive unemployment.  This rule also applies to employees residing in a shelter for victims of domestic abuse and employees involved in surrogacy adoption.

    March 19, 2020

    Unpaid Leave

    Employees who are Israeli citizens/visa holders, and who have been put on unpaid leave for more than 30 days, are entitled to receive unemployment pay from the government. This is applicable for all employees who have been employed for at least 12 months within the last 18 months.

    This payment can be received even if employees have not exhausted their vacation days.

    The amount received will be between 31% to 80% of the employees average monthly salary over the last 6 months and the amount will vary depending on the age and income of the employee. In order to receive this benefit, Employees need to register online for unemployment with (1) National Insurance Institute of Israel, and (2) Employment Service. Both can be registered online. Employees can also contact a support by contacting the National Call Centre on *6050 or 048812345.

    Dismissed Employees

    Employees who have been terminated from their work can register for unemployment according to the normal process and should register with the Employment Service online.

    Reduced Working Hours

    Employers can decide to reduce the number of hours an employee works but it must be agreed on by the employee. Employees should be made aware that agreeing to the reduction in working hours can affect their rights later on, for example, entitlement to Pension and unemployment benefits. If the employee does not agree to the reduction the employee can resign and then register for unemployment.

    If an Employer wants to reduce the working hours for pregnant women, a woman on maternity leave, a parent going through surrogacy, or an employee going through adoption, they must first obtain approval from the Supervisor of the Women Labor Act in the Ministry of Labor. Once approved, the employer must obtain the employees agreement to the reduced hours set up. If the employee does not agree, they can resign and register for unemployment.

    Reduced Salary with No Decrease in Working Time

    If an Employer wants to reduce an employee’s salary but keep their working hours the same, they must have this change agreed upon by the employee. If the employee does not agree to the reduction, the employee can resign and then register for unemployment immediately.

    If an Employer wants to reduce the pay but maintain the working hours for pregnant women, a woman on maternity leave, a parent going through surrogacy, or an employee going through adoption, they must first obtain approval from the Supervisor of the Women Labor Act in the Ministry of Labor. Once approved, the employer must obtain the employees agreement to the reduced pay set up. If the employee does not agree they can resign and register for unemployment.

    For more details see our payroll & benefits guide to Israel

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