Why your company needs to start thinking about fertility benefits (and what everyone else is doing!)

In the ever-evolving world of employee benefits, one area that's been growing traction is the inclusion of fertility benefits. Fertility benefits are becoming a priority for more and more employers and the number of companies currently offering fertility benefits is increasing year on year.

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A report by Mercer found that employers are ranked 2nd for the source employees trust the most to deliver high-quality, convenient, affordable, and secure health solutions. This is second only to in-person consultations with a healthcare professional and ranked higher than the public healthcare system. 1

As you may have seen in your own organisation, the dynamics of the workforce have changed significantly since covid. More people are prioritising their careers and starting families later in life and there's more of a focus on wellbeing at work too. As a result, fertility support has emerged as an employee need. As the needs of employees evolve over time, more employers are recognising the importance of providing fertility benefits. But first, what are fertility benefits? Fertility benefits can range from an employer covering the full cost of fertility treatment for their employees to providing additional leave for those going through treatment like IVF.

We've seen firsthand how important conversations around fertility, pregnancy loss, and menopause, are slowly becoming normalised in our workplaces. As fertility challenges are discussed more openly, more employees are advocating for the inclusion of fertility benefits in their workplaces. Employers need to listen to what their employees want, to retain and attract the best people.

40% of employers now offer fertility benefits

Over the last few years, there has been a big shift in how employers view the overall wellbeing of their workforce. A study by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans found that 40% of employers in the US now provide fertility benefits as part of their employee wellness programmes, a 10% increase from 2022. This number is a significant leap from just a decade ago. This highlights the growing recognition and importance of fertility support in the workplace.

Job ads citing fertility benefits have increased over 700% in the past year

With more employers recognising the importance of fertility benefits, research by Adzuna found that job ads citing fertility benefits increased by over 700% since March 2022. This data shows that more employers are now actively looking for ways to attract the best talent, and they're doing this by implementing fertility benefits. As well as this, fertility benefits will show prospective employees that their employer genuinely cares about their wellbeing, as is there to support their employees through all life stages and challenges.

97% of employers do not see an overall increase in cost to the business after implementing financial coverage for fertility treatment

Employers are realising that investing in infertility coverage or fertility benefits does not only show employees they care, but also it's a strategic move to manage healthcare costs. Paying for fertility treatments can be a huge financial burden, and when companies step in to offer support in this way, it can alleviate a considerable financial burden on both the employee, and on the company.

By covering aspects of fertility treatments, such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) or egg freezing, employers will be contributing to reducing the financial strain on their employees. This proactive approach can lead to higher employee morale, increased productivity, and a lower turnover rate. Try our ROI calculator to see your estimated net return on investment if you were to implement fertility benefits in your organisation.

85% of employers say closing the gender pay gap is a current or future HR priority

Every employee's family forming journey is unique, and providing fertility support shows a commitment to supporting employees throughout all aspects of their life. Fertility benefits extend support to individuals and couples who may be facing fertility challenges, and it sends a clear message to everyone that the company cares about their wellbeing. Women's careers are often more negatively affected by fertility challenges and lots of those women completely leave work as a result. Any company that values its female workforce needs to think about what they are actively doing to support individuals with fertility care. Remember, inclusivity isn't just a buzzword or a tick-box exercise for HR teams; it's a tangible, company-wide effort that can maximise employee retention by creating a stronger sense of belonging among employees.

71% of employers see fertility benefits as a way to enhance DEI objectives

Fertility coverage programmes, like the one we offer through Fertifa, are designed to be inclusive, unlike most Private Health Insurance schemes. A comprehensive fertility benefits provider will typically not require an official infertility diagnosis for an employee to access support. This means same-sex couples, single people and anyone who has not been actively trying to conceive for 2 years will all have access to the same level of support. Fertifa was founded on the belief that fertility support and reproductive health care should be accessible to everyone, no matter their age, gender identity, relationship status or sexual identity.

Additionally, providing fertility benefits means that as an employer you can support multiple different paths to parenthood. At Fertifa, we cover surrogacy services, fertility preservation (sperm freezing or egg freezing), and other fertility services like IVF, ICSI, genetic testing, adoption, and fertility medications. 

Open discussions about fertility and reproductive health are becoming more commonplace

Conversations around fertility health have become more common in our workplaces, and this has led to people turning to their employers for more support. As we see these societal changes, people are becoming more confident and comfortable discussing fertility challenges, and this slowly trickled its way into the workplace. Employers are recognising the importance of providing a safe space for employees to discuss their fertility concerns. By offering fertility benefits, companies will be building a workplace culture that values open dialogue and breaks down taboos around fertility struggles.

A multi-faceted approach is the best approach when it comes to implementing fertility benefits

Here are other things companies can do to create a more comprehensive support system for their employees.

1. Flexible Work Arrangements

Balancing work commitments with fertility treatments can be a huge challenge. Offering flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options or flexible hours, can greatly reduce the stress and logistical complexities that often go hand in hand with fertility journeys. Flexible working options are also important in demonstrating you are family-friendly and able to support colleagues with other health and personal challenges they might face. 

2. Emotional and Mental Health Support

Fertility struggles can take an emotional toll on individuals and couples. Providing access to counselling services or Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that address mental health and emotional wellbeing can be invaluable during this sensitive time. 80% of executives believe employee wellbeing support is a top priority for their business and providing access to mental health support for those going through fertility treatment is crucial for this to be successful. 

3. Education and Awareness Workshops

Organising workshops or informational sessions about fertility health and treatments can empower employees with knowledge. When employees are well informed, they can make more confident decisions about their fertility journey and better understand the resources available to them. It's also important to provide line manager training on fertility treatments and the effects it can have on someone at work is just as important. 1 in 3 managers don't know how to support employees with their mental health, so employers should put guidance in place for managers on your company policy and signpost to other support you have available. 

If you're looking to put fertility support and benefits in place, book in a call with our team who can talk you through how to work with Fertifa 💜