The Socially Responsible Employer Award
The Socially Responsible Employer Award
30 // October // 2016 Debora M.
Debora Meczyk, VP Human Resources, on Strauss's social program, which led to its winning the 2016 Socially Responsible Employer Award  

In the past few years, the cost of living in Israel has risen significantly, a situation that mainly affects those employees who are unable to live on the salaries they earn. These are people who are committed to their work, who persevere, who get up every morning with enthusiasm to do their jobs and meet the challenge of earning a living with dignity. Men and women from all over Israel, young and old, native-born Israelis, new immigrants and veteran immigrants, hard workers who believed that if they worked it would assure their livelihood now and in the future, today face a different reality that forces them to cope in a way that is becoming increasingly difficult. In the past few years, we at Strauss recognized that something new and different is going on here, something that found a voice a few years ago when the social protest broke out, and is here to stay: the difficulty in living off one's salary and earning one's daily bread with dignity.   . In the face of this new reality, we decided to take action, and already in 2012 we kicked off the process with a series of steps designed to provide a response and to help our employees to cope on the everyday level: scholarships for their children, absorbing the cost of vacations of the employees' spouses, development of a supporting welfare system, incentives for sales reps, affordability of the Company's products, etc. Since 2012 we have perpetuated this trend and have implemented a number of additional moves, such as extending employees' health insurance coverage, setting up a health fund for difficult cases, creating enhanced and more accurate wellbeing infrastructure, granting loans under convenient terms and conditions, reducing manual labor, making improvements to workstations, establishing the Social Kessem Strauss Petach Tikva mutual aid community, improving wage conditions, establishing programs for the advancement and development of women in production floor jobs and primary functions, etc.   . In 2016 we decided to implement another substantial and comprehensive initiative to improve our employees' economic wellbeing. The plan has three components: a minimum wage at Strauss was defined, which ensures that the minimum wage in our companies will be NIS 300 more than the minimum wage in Israel; contribution to the costs of their children's education – every employee with a child aged 0-3 will be entitled to a grant of NIS 500 each month; and every employee will receive an advanced study fund based on tenure and occupation; there will not be a single employee at Strauss who will not be entitled to this component, in our desire to give employees the opportunity to have a savings account.   All of this expresses our commitment to keep our employees in mind every day, place them in the center, listen to them and find the way to provide an accurate and respectful response to their various needs. We have chosen to look reality in the eye and to take action that stems from genuine concern and caring. Because actions speak louder than words.    
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