Slaves We Were, and Giftless Many of Us Will Remain

Survey says 20% of Israeli companies aren't giving Passover presents this year.

It's traditional for Israeli firms to give their employees a present for Passover, be it a bottle of wine, vouchers to shop or a hotel weekend. But 20% of companies aren't giving anything at all this year, according to a survey by SQ Service Quality on behalf of the Israeli Management Center.

The survey of 200 companies in industry, trade and services found that the highest proportion of companies planning to give nothing at all is services - manpower companies, security and cleaning companies. There, the proportion is 22.4%. Next are the commerce companies (supermarkets, stores ) where the proportion is 20.5%. Industrial companies are generally more generous: Only 13.3% say they won't be giving Passover gifts.

The ones giving nothing are mainly smaller companies, while the big ones (which can buy in bulk ) are more generous.

The companies giving nothing generally say the reason is efficiency measures.

"We've been losing money for a long time," said the CEO of a food import business. "I'd rather forgo giving the employees a present than have to fire some of them."

Of the companies that are giving a gift, less than 20% are giving a present worth less than NIS 200.

Just over a fifth are giving gifts worth NIS 200 to NIS 300, and a fifth are going for a gift worth NIS 300 to NIS 400.

A quarter are giving gifts worth NIS 400 to NIS 500 and 3.3% are giving a present worth NIS 750 to NIS 1,000.

The average value of the gifts is NIS 355, says SQ. Another survey, by Vaadim, found a completely different figure, it must be said. It found that the average gift is in the range of NIS 600 to NIS 900.

The most generous giver among the pack that participated in the survey was Bromine Works, a unit of Israel Chemicals, which is handing out NIS 1,750.

Workers at Bank Hapoalim will be getting gifts worth NIS 1,200. Bezeq workers will get gifts worth NIS 600 to NIS 1,000, depending on seniority.