Everything You Need to Know about Israel’s Green Pass for Employees

Barnea Jaffa Lande & Co.

Updated regulations for the implementation of the Green Pass in Israeli workplaces will come into effect on October 5, 2021. These regulations are, to date, to remain in effect until October 19, 2021.

Following are some of the main guidelines of the regulations:

Does the obligation to present a Green Pass apply to all workplaces in the Israeli economy?

No. Only employers in the following workplaces must demand that their employees present a Green Pass:

  •  Medical institutions: hospitals; clinics; drug rehabilitation centers; emergency medical service organizations; and rehabilitation service providers, pursuant to the Rehabilitation in the Community of Persons with Mental Disabilities Law.
  •  Welfare institutions: sheltered housing/assisted living facilities; retirement homes; out-of-home residential programs for minors; shelters for women and children who are victims of domestic violence; public housing for people with disabilities; welfare centers for minors, people with disabilities, and the elderly that do not include overnight lodging; an institution as defined in the Supervision of Institutions Treating Drug Users Law; and any other facility providing accommodation.
  • Entertainment and recreation: venues that hold events, family celebrations, conferences, and exhibitions; clubs/discotheques that hold events, artistic performances, and entertainment without seating but offering food; gyms; fitness studios; indoor swimming pools; country clubs; seating areas in food establishments, including bars and pubs; hotels; cinemas; theaters; music, dance, and entertainment performances; museums; libraries; amusement parks and water parks; and children’s playrooms (jamboree).

Must employees present a vaccination or recovery certificate or is it sufficient for them to present a negative COVID-19 test result?

There are two possible alternatives. Employees at the workplaces specified above must show employers their IDs and Green Passes or a certificate of a negative result of a rapid COVID-19 test taken within 84 hours before they enter the workplace.

The Green Pass is an approval issued by the Ministry of Health indicating an individual is entitled to a vaccination or recovery certificate, a certificate of participation in a clinical trial for a vaccine against COVID-19 that took place in Israel, or approval from a vaccinating agent testifying to the individual’s receipt of a third vaccine dose.  

Do employees who do not come in contact with patients or the public have to present a Green Pass or a negative test result?

No. The obligation to present a Green Pass or a negative COVID-19 test result does not apply to employees whom the employer has determined do not come in contact with patients, recipients of services, or customers in the workplaces specified above.

Who is responsible for informing employees about the rules regarding presentation of a Green Pass or a negative COVID-19 result?

Employers in the workplaces specified above must inform their employees about the rules regarding presentation of a Green Pass or a negative COVID-19 test result and must enforce these rules. Employers may not allow employees to enter the workplace in violation of these rules.  

What about employers that are not subject to the new regulations?

Employers not subject to the new regulations are required to make sure all of their employees wear masks and maintain social distancing. Many employers opt to demand that unvaccinated employees work remotely or present negative test results every so often. This requirement is allowed, but we recommend consulting with us before applying this policy in your workplace.

Is resignation due to a refusal to get the vaccine or present a negative COVID-19 test result considered tantamount to constructive dismissal?

Two memoranda of law were recently published on this subject. However, these memoranda have not yet come into effect and therefore are not binding at this time. Nevertheless, these memoranda raise an interesting discussion around the question of whether resigning due to a refusal to get the vaccine or present a negative COVID-19 test result entitles the employee to severance pay and unemployment benefits. In our opinion, the resignation of an employee who refuses to get the vaccine or present a negative COVID-19 test result does not constitute constructive dismissal. However, we recommend waiting for updates regarding the memoranda of law, which deliberate the question of whether employees who resign under these circumstances are entitled to severance pay or unemployment benefits immediately after their resignation. Additionally, we recommend seeking advice about each case on its own merits.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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