ICL Services
5 August 2020


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Corporate Social Responsibility Practices for the Protection of Human Rights

These days the society is faced with multiple challenges: large-scale COVID-19 pandemic affecting more than 5 million people worldwide, financial recession, unemployment, political and social confrontation caused by human rights violation, environmental disasters. The list can go on forever. It is hard to believe that those issues can be resolved by initiatives of individuals or companies. However, the case of ICL Services, a major IT services company with 2,300+ employees worldwide, testifies to the contrary.

In its operations and corporate culture, the company applies the principles of respect and protection of human rights and adheres to the ISO 26000 international standard providing guidance on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In an effort to streamline the company’s policies, ICL Services takes it one step further and applies this approach to its contractors. To achieve this objective, the Code for Suppliers and Business Partners is implemented. All counterparties must sign it before concluding a contract with the company and strictly observe these provisions thereafter.
By adhering to the CSR principles, including the protection of human rights, ICL Services becomes more competitive in recruiting and retaining the employees. Moreover, the research has shown that socially responsible companies not only acquire more visibility in the labor market but also achieve their financial performance objectives more effectively.

In this article, we speak about the universal human rights promoted by the company, and the opportunities provided to the employees of ICL Services.
The right to just and favourable conditions of work, rest, and leisure
ICL Services not only creates comfortable workplaces conforming to the occupational health and safety requirements but has also allocated and equipped onsite recreation rooms, eating areas, and sports grounds. All offices have water dispensers and systems of air recirculation and antibacterial treatment installed. Active sports facilities are located on the territory of the office building.

Offices are equipped with wheelchair ramps and have tactile markings for the visually impaired. The employees complete fire safety training courses.

ICL Services provides a vacation premium bonus and a year-end bonus. In addition to the essential benefits (a smooth transition to parental leave and assistance in paperwork), the company supports family values and offers a wedding benefit and a child’s birth bonus, organizes events for the employees’ children, and gives out New Year presents. The company also covers mortgage interest, develops an IT village next to the office, and invests in the construction of apartment buildings for employees.
The right to equality
ICL Services always adheres to the principle of equal rights while hiring employees or considering a promotion. Any talented employee, regardless of their gender, age, or other differences, can be hired or promoted exclusively based on their proficiency and skills.

Gender equality
The IT industry is stereotypically considered to be a «male-dominated» one, as the majority of university graduates with a degree in Information Technology are men. However, year after year the company strives to equalize the gender imbalance: it conducts training courses at schools and universities intended to showcase the opportunities offered by the IT industry to girls. It hosts the Women Tech Club meetings where female managers can meet the employees, sharing their success stories. The company «‘talent pool» aimed at fostering future managers always includes female employees.

Working with disabled people
In 2019, the company launched online training for people with musculoskeletal disorders. During the course, the employees introduced the basics of the IT profession and business communication to the students, so that they could pursue their future careers as technical specialists.

Since 2018, the company has been participating in the Career Path events and conducting workshops. It sponsors sitball (sitting volleyball) competitions.

Support for the regions
ICL Services offers a relocation program for employees from other cities: after the move, they can receive a relocation allowance or live at a corporate apartment for the first 3 months.
The right to health protection and medical care
The company endorses sports as an essential part of a healthy lifestyle: it offers partial compensation for the purchase of gym membership, promotes participation in regular sporting events (marathons, sports and athletic contests, «Race of Heroes») and organizes its own events. ICL Services holds yoga classes at the offices, and puts up special stickers encouraging the employees to take the stairs instead of elevators.

The company runs a voluntary health insurance (VHI) program for the employees comprising 40 health clinics and a dentistrye, organizes free annual vaccination, and photofluorography. The employees can invite a doctor for a home visit; all offices have medical rooms in case anyone feels unwell. Every Monday, a general practitioner sees patients free of charge. A few times a year, the company employees voluntarily take part in Blood Donor Days.

Providing healthcare information
ICL Services conducts webinars on mental health, lectures on healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition, and first aid workshops.

Given the rapidly changing situation with the pandemic, the company management took prompt action to reduce the risk of infection. In just one week, 2,000 employees were transitioned to remote working. The company organized lectures given by virologists, maintained consistent communication (93% of the employees gave the messages a 4-5/ 5 score, rating them as useful or very useful), and explained to the personnel how they could protect themselves and their families. These efforts continue today: the employees are strongly recommended not to return to their offices unless it is necessary for business. Nevertheless, if an employee wants to work onsite, ICL Services has already introduced appropriate measures: the employee’s body temperature is checked before entering the office, the floor is marked to enforce social distancing, face masks are provided, and the premises are equipped with information stickers reminding of the safety measures introduced during the pandemic. In cafeterias and eating areas, tables are socially distanced, and re-usable tableware and cutlery are replaced with disposable ones.
The right to a safe environment and a sustainable future
The company attaches great importance to environmental issues, supports the employees’ volunteer movement, and champions the international right to a healthy environment. ICL Services organises environmental events and supports city initiatives, takes part in community clean-ups, hosts ecology lectures and waste sorting workshops, arranges green spaces in offices, and plants trees in city parks.
Educational opportunities
Employees are offered ample opportunities for training and professional development: onsite and online English courses, technical training and business workshops, internal and external training courses, international IT and business certifications.

For students and university graduates, the company offers free short-term courses in various IT fields the ICL Services School. In 2019, the company organised 11 schools, enabling 150+ trainees to graduate and launch careers of system administrators, project managers, software developers, and technical specialists.
The opportunity to voice your opinion openly
ICL Services corporate culture encourages an open and inclusive dialogue supported by the working environment: open-plan offices facilitate prompt resolution of work issues. Special interest clubs and open discussion sessions are of particular interest to the co-workers.

The company has an extensive internal communications network. The employees can send their questions to a dedicated email address operating 24/7. Strategy update sessions with the executive staff that are held 3 times a year are also transparency-oriented: the management team talks about the company’s mission, plans, and projects, answers the questions from the offline and online audience. ICL Services conducts an annual engagement survey. The issues identified by the survey are prioritized in order of importance and promptly resolved. Surveys are always anonymous and are aimed at eliciting the feeling of transparency and safety for the respondent. This way the company determines the weakest points and seeks to process every request.

By implementing these principles, the company demonstrates the importance of respect for human rights and their protection. By showing respect and giving support to each employee, ICL Services enjoys their respect in return. Knowing that their rights are protected, the employee feels secure and remains loyal to the company -and the company employs profoundly motivated professionals ready for new achievements, both in public life and in business.

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