On 18 March, Histadrut and the Israeli government signed a collective agreement that will regulate the employment of public sector workers during the COVID-19 crisis. The agreement is signed for the period of 19 March 2020 to 16 April 2020.
The agreement stipulates that a non-essential designated employee who is not required to work during the crisis period, should be on mandatory vacation. As long as a regular employee has a positive balance of annual vacation - and for this purpose any type of annual vacation will be considered, such as: special vacation, temporary vacation, excluding elective vacation days and internal vacation - the stated vacation shall be on account of the worker's rest vacation days. As long as a regular worker doesn't have a positive balance of annual vacation, s/he shall also stay on vacation as stated as a down payment on account of the rest vacation days (which can only be accrued) to which s/he will be entitled in the future after the end of the period of the agreement.
This agreement does not alter the existing rules regarding the debit of the worker's vacation balance. Employers in the public sector and the Histadrut will set up a joint vacation days fund for emergencies. The fund will work to prevent damages to workers’ wages that do not have the sufficient accumulated vacation time.
Histradrut also launched the “Daily Report,” which will provide latest updates on the situation on COVID-19 in Israel, with specific focus on workers’ rights and employment. The Daily Report also includes general information on the spread of COVID -19 in Israel and latest guidelines from the government.
As part of its information campaign, Histradrut also launched a hotline where workers can get up-to-date information on their rights, with an emphasis on the implications of the new COVID-19 guidelines.