Since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, US tech giants were among the first to back their employees in Israel through supportive letters sent to employees worldwide, donations to humanitarian organizations and direct assistance to Israeli employees.
While companies like Intel, Microsoft, Salesforce and Nvidia have given employees special grants to ease the hardships of war, Google has decided not to give a cash grant but rather assist employees finding it difficult to work at home by financing alternative accommodation in Israel or abroad.
In recent weeks, many Google Israel employees have traveled to European countries like Cyprus, Greece and Portugal together with their families as part of Google's program to reimburse accommodation and living expenses for the employees and their families. In some exceptional instances employees have even traveled with children older than 26. Refund of expenses is paid for by a company credit card on presentation of receipts.
Employees who want to stay abroad for longer than 30 days will be required to finance accommodation and living expenses from their own money but Google will still pay for the return air fare.
This is not the first time that Google has introduced such an emergency grant. The arrangement was also carried in Ukraine in February 2022 following the outbreak of war.
In addition to the accommodation and living expenses grant, Google is also allowing employees 10 days full vacation with pay above and beyond their regular vacation days, and also reimbursing expenses for babysitters and child minders for parents whose children have no educational framework or have a shorter school day.
"To ensure every employee is in a safe place"
Google CEO Sundar Pichai was one of the first tech giant CEOs to come out in support of his Israeli employees. In a solidarity email sent to all the company's employees he wrote, "You have surely heard about the terrible attack on Israeli civilians and the fighting following it. Google has more than 2,000 employees in Israel and it is hard to imagine what they are going through now. Our first priority is now to ensure that every employee is in a safe place."
Other Israeli employees of tech giants have also received help. Microsoft Israel's 3,000 development and sales staff have each received a $3,000 grant and Salesforce has given a one-time grant of NIS 10,000 to employees and NIS 20,000 to employees in the army reserves. Intel's 12,000 employees in Israel each received $5,000 and a refund on child care services.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 13, 2023.
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