Religion Magazine

Proposed Law: Quarantine Sick Days

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
According to Kikar, the Knesset yesterday passed the first reading of a proposed law that will allow employees needing to enter quarantine to use "sick days" for their days of quarantine (due to exposure or upon returning from travel abroad), even though they aren't necessarily sick. The same will be for someone whose child has to go into quarantine and needs a parent to quarantine with him/her.
According to the proposal, instead of having to use vacation days or unpaid leave, sick days can be used to cover the quarantine, in order to protect the job security of the employee. The normal law of "sick days pay" will apply. The cost of the sick days payments will be split between the employer and the State. If an employee has already used up his sick days allotment or does not have enough to cover the quarantine, an arrangement for sick days according to a specific formula will be granted to the employee for use in quarantine, and will be covered by the State. 
The purpose of the law is to protect the job security of the employees who are forced into quarantine by the national battle against the spread of CoronaVirus and to make the decision to comply with the rules of quarantine easier when they might have concern of the possibility of losing their job or having salary docked.  
Some businesses offer better sick day terms than what the law requires. I don't know if quarantine sick days will only follow the formula of this proposal or if the State-employer combination will pay whatever terms the company normally uses. It seems to me the State will only agree to pay its portion according to the official legal formula, though I don't know if this was considered or not at this point 
It seems fair to protect the employees like this when the order from quarantine is from the State as part of this national fight against Corona, but maybe they should go a little further and pay the full sick day pay to the employee and not make the employer pay anything. As part of the national fight, why make the employer lose out and hurt him/her? Also, maybe the employee should be paid like sick days, but should also not lose out on accumulated sick days either - after all, right now he is not really sick, just forced into quarantine. If he comes out of quarantine healthy, God willing, and then gets the flu, he won't have any sick days left available to be used. So maybe the State should consider quarantine as sick days, but that it also does not get deducted from the employee's accumulation.
The first reading passed in the Knesset and will head to committee to be adjusted and prepared for further readings.
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