The High Court of Justice on Monday ruled that workers would not be eligible for paid sick days if they enter quarantine.
A directive issued by then-director of Public Health at the Health Ministry, Prof. Siegal Sadetzki, at the start of the pandemic instructed employers to compensate workers for the time spent in quarantine.
The Manufacturers Association in Israel petitioned the court demanding the financing of this provision not be at the expense of employers.
The judicial panel ruled that since those who are forced to enter preventative quarantine are not categorized as having contracted COVID-19, they could not be classed as sick and therefore should not be eligible for sick pay.
The court delayed implementation of its ruling, which will come into effect after September 30, in order to allow the government time to prepare and adjust legislation.
"This change of balance, which has ramifications for employment rights for both sides, is not the sole jurisdiction of the Health Ministry, but that of the legislator," the court determined.
Justice Alex Stein added: "We are in the midst of an unpreceded national crisis. We are all worried, careful, and wear face masks in order to prevent infection, but we continue to debate issues based on the same legal language and principles that always existed.
"In this situation, where 'statistical patients' who are in preventive quarantine and do not show any symptoms are not ill with any disease which could prevent them from working. Their inability to work was forced on them by administrative order that does not adhere to the legal parameters of sick days," he wrote.