The labour market in Israel is also gearing up to deal with the Corona virus.

On February 4, 2020 the Ministry of Health published a Public Health Order (the New Corona Virus 2019) (Instructions for Employers of Employees in Home Isolation) (Temporary Order), 2020. The Order defines an "Employee in Isolation", as including any employed person (regardless of whether they are employed in employment relations; and, including volunteers and service providers at the employer's premises) who is required to be in isolation, to rule out an infection by the Corona virus.

Please note – according to the new order:

A. Employers are forbidden from requiring employees in isolation to attend work, and are obligated to prohibit such attendance, during the period in which the employee is required to remain in isolation, even if the employee wishes to enter the workplace.

B. Employees in isolation are required to provide their employer with a notice, as soon as possible, of their requirement to be in isolation and the duration of such isolation.

C. Employers who are prohibited from dismissing employees in isolation due to their absence, during the isolation period.

This Order joins the Public Health Order (the New Corona Virus 2019) (Home Isolation) (Temporary Order), 2020, published by the Ministry of Health on February 2, 2020, which determines who should be in isolation, the meaning of isolation and its duration. This order is currently valid for a period of 30 days from its publication and also applies to individuals who returned from China prior to its publication.

Who should be in isolation?

In general, the following people should be in isolation:

A. Any person arriving in Israel, including by way of another country, within a period of 14 days following a stay in China;

B. Any person who has been in close contact (as defined by the Order) with a patient who has a positive laboratory finding for the virus;

C. Any person with respect to whom a doctor has determined that he/she has been in close contact with a patient as mentioned above, during the past 14 days.

The duration of the isolation period:

In general, the isolation period will be in effect for a period of 14 days, from the last date on which the individual was in China (for anyone returning from China), or for 14 days from the last date of contact with a patient.

No specific medical certificate is required

The Ministry of Health has published a public notice containing explicit guidelines on the subject, including an instruction whereby any absence from work due to mandated isolation, will be considered as absence due to illness.

On February 4, 2020 the Ministry of Health published a comprehensive medical certificate for employees who are in mandated isolation, replacing the lawfully required medical certificate. The guidelines explicitly prohibit employers from requiring such employees to provide an additional medical certificate.