Topic: women at work

A quick guide to fertility benefits in the workplace


6 minute read

By Chloe Mumford

Recently there have been a few new developments in the realm of workplace benefits, particularly fertility benefits. It is a new concept that not many people may have heard of, however, it’s something that many workers want, being among the top 5 most requested benefit types.

In a study by Carrot, a global fertility health care and family-forming benefits provider for employers, 77% of respondents said they would stay at a company if it offered fertility benefits, and majority of them said they would consider leaving jobs for better benefits, such as fertility benefits.

In this article, we’ll talk about what fertility benefits are, why workers want them, and why organizations should care.

What are fertility benefits?

Fertility benefits can range from access to counselling, paid time off to attend appointments, at-home fertility testing kits, partial or full IVF funding, partial or full surrogacy funding, remote and in-person consultations and diagnostics, or even partial or full funding for egg freezing.

Employers often understand or speak about fertility benefits in terms of heterosexual couples, which is misguided. Singles and LGBTQ+ couples who want to start a family deserve recognition too. Therefore, offering or giving workers access to services such as IVF, infertility diagnosis, donor sperm or eggs, adoption, intrauterine insemination (IUI), etc. creates an inclusive perk for everyone.

Healthcare benefits also play a part in fertility health. For example, fertility hormones play an important role in regulating other health issues, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), irregular menstruation, insulin resistance, and diabetes. Henceforth, fertility benefits should not be limited to getting pregnant or starting a family. It needs to focus on fertility health as a much broader concept.

Why More Workers Want Fertility Support

Fertility benefits are something a lot of workers want, especially those who have already undergone fertility treatment. A study by Apricity established that 82% of respondents who’d already undergone IVF would not consider working for a company that didn’t offer fertility benefits.

Fertility issues are common. One in eight heterosexual couples in the U.S. experiences infertility. Globally, it is 50 million. Additionally, 63% of LGBTQ people who are planning families expect to use Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), foster care, or adoption. Moreover, record numbers of women are now opting to freeze their eggs. This data highlights just how many people could benefit from workplace support to make these kinds of fertility and reproductive decisions.

Why should organizations implement fertility benefits?

A report by Carrot Fertility and Resolve reveals that 89% of respondents said that fertility and family-forming has had a negative impact on their mental wellbeing. Yet, only 12% of them receive fertility benefits from their employer.

To truly appreciate the need for fertility benefits, leaders need to know the impact fertility health has on workers. Studies have shown links to severe depression, anxiety, and even mood disorders; all of which strongly impact performance.

Additionally, people want to work for a supportive employer that champions inclusivity and diversity. It’s an added incentive for them to continue working for their company, or even make a return from parental leave, instead of setting out to find a more supportive workplace. Nowadays, organizations are having to work harder than ever to attract and retain talent, so offering fertility benefits may tip the scales in their favor.

How do fertility benefits help organizations?

There are so many reasons why implementing fertility benefits is good for businesses. It’s
proven that having a diverse and inclusive workforce improves staff retention, engagement, productivity, increased revenue, and more. Fertility benefits would likely do the same.

The proof is in the pudding. In 2019, LinkedIn introduced their employee fertility program, as a result of a survey where workers revealed that LinkedIn’s workplace policies weren’t meeting their needs, particularly for those who want to start a family. Since then, LinkedIn has reported that the fertility benefit has improved employee well-being and cultural cohesion, as well as employee retention and attraction.

Katherine Gilbert, LinkedIn’s senior director of compensation and benefits in EMEA and Latin America, reveals: “When new employees join LinkedIn and learn about the fertility benefit during induction, it’s a ‘wow’ moment for them. The feedback we’ve received has been, and continues to be, incredible.”

Moreover, research shows that inclusivity is now an expectation for workers. A study by Glassdoor reveals that 78% of respondents value diversity when evaluating a company and whether they want to work there. As demonstrated, there is a high demand for fertility benefits. Organizations that want to attract and retain talent, and boost staff well-being and loyalty must take note.

Final thoughts

Fertility issues or fertility health can affect anyone in the workplace. For years, organizations have been putting a lot of focus on diversity and inclusion, but they’ve been largely unaware of what they can offer in regards to support in this aspect.

Where do you go from here? Firstly, it’s important to start a conversation. Talk to your workers and find out if this is something they desire or need. Once you identify the kind of fertility benefits/support your workers want, it’s time to start taking steps toward implementation.

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