The ongoing global outbreak and spread of novel coronavirus 2019 is a dramatic event of global proportions, with far-reaching implications for a wide range of areas, including labour law. The increasing number of individuals subjected to isolation raises many questions among employers and employees, including as regards days of absence, remote work and similar matters.
The Employment of Women Law entitles both women and men to certain parental rights, including limitations on the fields of work available to pregnant women, limitations on women's night shifts, the protection of employment during pregnancy, maternity leave (for both women and men) and limitations on termination of employment.
Israeli employment laws set certain limitations on employers' right to terminate employees. For example, according to case law, the termination of employment relationships requires a hearing process, for which specific guidelines have been developed by the labour courts. Employers' obligation to hear an employee before making a final decision regarding their future employment results from employees' basic right to be heard and derives from the rules of natural justice and bona fide obligations.
Pursuant to Israeli employment law, an employer cannot employ workers on their weekly rest days unless it obtains a special permit from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. On commencement of their employment, employees can notify their employer that they will not work on weekly rest days in accordance with their religious beliefs. Employing workers on their rest day without a permit is a criminal offence, which in certain cases may result in fines for the employer's officers and managers.
Israeli employment law is a blend of continental and common law legal systems. Employment protection laws – a set of laws that provide minimum conditions for all employees, irrespective of their wage levels – are at the foundation of employment law in Israel. Failure to comply with these requirements may constitute a criminal offence and further expose an employer to liability for damages.
Collective labour law in Israel is a dynamic and constantly evolving field. In the past decade, many important changes have taken place with respect to collective labour law which have greatly influenced the scope of organised labour. This article examines the legal aspects of organised labour, the protection of the right to organise and the support granted by the labour courts to organisers and the definition of collective bargaining units and workers' organisations.