In a growing trend, employers are thinking beyond parental leave to fertility treatments, child care, college savings accounts, more.
According to a new study, employers are increasingly offering family-friendly benefits to attract and retain good employees. These include more traditional efforts such as paid parental leave, as well as more novel benefits such as fertility treatments and medications, genetic testing, and egg harvesting/freezing. According to the numbers, there’s a good chance some of your competitors are offering these perks; so take the time to consider what more you can do.
According to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans’ (IFEBP) annual Employee Benefits Survey, nearly a third (31%) of employers with 500 or more employees offer some sort of fertility benefit. At the same time, 23% cover in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments, and 18% offer coverage for fertility medications. Among other offerings: 15% cover genetic testing to determine infertility issues, 13% cover non-IVF fertility treatments, and 7% provide for egg harvesting or freezing services. Even the smallest companies are starting to offer these benefits. Of those with 50 or fewer employees, 10% offer some sort of fertility benefits.
Among employers of all sizes:
· 51% offer flexible worker hours or compressed work weeks, and 9% have some sort of job-sharing program.
· 41% offer paid maternity leave, and 32% offer paid paternity leave.
· 34% offer unpaid family leave beyond Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requirements, and 26% offer unpaid adoption leave.
· 21% offer paid adoption leave.
· 17% offer paid family/caregiving leave.
· 8% provide paid leave to attend a child’s activities.
Employers commonly offer a variety of other family-friendly perks, including dependent care flexible spending accounts, resource and referral services for child care, a “Take Your Child to Work Day,” financial assistance for adoption, and college savings plans.
Some companies are offering some other less common family-friendly benefits such as resources and referral services for adopted children, scholarships or paid tuition for employees’ children, emergency/sick child care, and onsite or near-site child care. Some more inventive benefits just now getting on the radar screen are child-care subsidies, parent coaching services, and special needs child care.
According to Julie Stich, CEBS, associate vice president of content at IFEBP, “Employers are recognizing that all employees have lives and commitments outside of the workplace and are expanding their benefits to be more inclusive. These types of benefits help employees address work-life conflicts, while keeping them productive and engaged at work.” She predicted that more companies will be offering a variety of family-friendly benefits moving forward, especially as workforce shortages in industries such as healthcare increase competition for good people.