Coronavirus testing (illustrative)
Coronavirus testing (illustrative)Yossi Aloni/Flash90

In a landmark ruling, the Tel Aviv District Labor Court decided on Monday of this week that employers may require staff to submit either to COVID vaccination or twice-weekly serological testing, even against their will.

The court was addressing a petition filed by an employee of the Mekorot water company, protesting a management decision that any staff member who was unvaccinated and failed to present a negative Covid-19 test would not be permitted to come to work.

During the hearings, it emerged that of Mekorot’s 1,500 employees, only 30 have not been vaccinated against coronavirus. Of those 30, 15 cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

The Court ruled that Mekorot’s demand of unvaccinated workers to be tested twice weekly for coronavirus was reasonable in light of the current contagion rate. According to the latest government regulations, anyone over the age of 12 is required to cover the cost of coronavirus testing when entering venues that are subject to Green Pass restrictions, and therefore it is likely that workers in similar situations to Mekorot’s petitioner will also be required to pay for their twice-weekly tests, at a cost of NIS 52 each.

The ruling will likely set a precedent for other companies, both private and government-controlled.