Blog > 5 points to consider when writing a fertility policy at work

5 points to consider when writing a fertility policy at work

As employers strive to create inclusive and supportive environments, implementing fertility policies has become a crucial aspect of creating a culture of employee well-being. These policies not only address the needs of individuals and couples navigating fertility challenges, but also demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Written by Apricity Team

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    As employers strive to create inclusive and supportive environments, implementing fertility policies has become a crucial aspect of creating a culture of employee well-being. These policies not only address the needs of individuals and couples navigating fertility challenges, but also demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

    If you're considering implementing a fertility policy at work, this blog gives you our top 5 points to consider before you put pen to paper. 

    Who is the fertility benefit available to?

    Firstly, is the benefit accessible by everyone? This would likely be ‘yes’ for smaller companies, but bigger organisations are multi-faceted, so for them this might not be a simple question. The temptation is to offer it to the higher salaried roles for attraction and retention purposes, but it’s the lower paid workers that need more financial help. 

    Then there is an equally important question to consider: who can actually use the benefit? Traditionally, and often when companies offer a fertility benefit through private medical insurance, a medical issue needs to be present before the employee qualifies for fertility treatment. 

    This means same-sex couples and single people, who need fertility treatment to start a family, are unable to use the benefit. However, there are ways to ensure that fertility benefits are fully inclusive, by asking PMI providers for a different entry criteria, or by working directly with a fertility benefit provider such as Apricity that caters for everyone

    Remember that a fertility policy is not only a practical step towards supporting employees' reproductive health but also a testament to your organisation's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    Which services does the fertility benefit cover?

    Some companies choose to only offer diagnostic testing as their fertility benefit, which is the first step for anyone looking to find out whether they need fertility treatment, and which treatment can help them most. This is the minimum that most companies offer, and the majority add fertility treatments on top of that.

    When most people think of treatment for people with fertility issues, they think of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), in which medication is injected to stimulate the development of eggs, which are then fertilised in a lab before being placed back into the uterus. Some people might also need to use an egg donation service in combination with IVF, so there is a wide variety of needs that your employees have, and you should ensure as many as possible are catered for in your policy. 

    Today many people also think of cryopreservation services (ie. egg and sperm freezing) when they think of fertility treatment. Over the last 20 years people have been choosing to have children later (or often not at all), and with a woman’s fertility naturally declining at a rapid pace after 35, many are choosing to freeze eggs before that age and use them in their late 30s or even early 40s. 

    From an employer’s point of view, offering this service might cost more money, but also enables people to extend their peak working years, during which time their engagement and loyalty to the company that gave them that opportunity is likely to increase dramatically. Most companies in the UK do not currently offer cryopreservation services, so there is a big opportunity for differentiation in the job market. 

    What monetary value will the fertility benefit cover?

    Companies can choose between adding a fertility benefit to an existing private medical insurance arrangement, using a flexible benefit system (in which you give employees a set value that they can choose to spend on the benefits that suit their needs) or using a cash allowance up to a figure set by your company.

    Most companies define a maximum amount each employee can spend on fertility treatment, and choose whether this is per year or per lifetime at the company. The amount usually sits between £10k and £20k per lifetime in our experience. Many people can succeed in having a baby for less than this figure, but as fertility treatment does not guarantee a healthy baby, some may need multiple rounds. It is possible but very rare that a fertility benefit is uncapped.

    Some companies pay a certain amount, then offer tax free loans to pay for the rest, or allow employees to spread the cost over a number of pay cheques. Companies such as Gaia and Kandoo offer this service. So there are many ways to make sure your employees feel cared for while not breaking the bank.

    How will you promote the fertility benefit?

    There is an opportunity for your fertility benefit to be the basis of a culture revamp at your company, showing current and prospective employees that you care for their physical and emotional wellbeing with actions, not just words. 

    Promote awareness and understanding of your fertility policy by providing educational resources to employees. This may include information about fertility health, available benefits, and resources for emotional support. By encouraging open communication and transparency, you create a culture where employees feel comfortable seeking assistance and sharing their experiences. 

    At Apricity, we offer regular webinars to each corporate client to explain how the benefit works to its employees, and free 30 minute consultations with our fertility nurses. Webinar attendance is anonymous, and we hold them outside work hours, as people are more likely to join. We send suggested text for HR teams to promote national fertility awareness days to draw attention to the fertility policy they offer. 

    Perhaps someone in the management team has personal experience of a fertility journey and is willing to share about it? This could be either having had a child with fertility treatment, or having been born with the help of such services themselves. This would show that this subject is not taboo at your company, and open the door for others to join the conversation.

    Many people are reluctant to let their employers know they are considering or undergoing fertility treatment as they feel it might hurt their career prospects, so by showing them it is ok to discuss it, this might alleviate some of the stress that people endure when forced to cover up their actions and intentions from colleagues and/or their manager. However, it is also important to define confidentiality here, so employees know that anything they share with HR or their manager will remain confidential.

    Consider implementing employee resource groups or support networks dedicated to fertility and family planning. By prioritising empathy and compassion, you cultivate a workplace where all employees feel valued and supported.

    Will your company offer paid time off for fertility treatment?

    Apart from offering a fertility benefit, the best way to show your colleagues that you fully understand the fertility process is to allow for paid time off for fertility treatment. Read our blog on this subject here. Just as companies give time off for bereavement and mental or physical illness, fertility treatment should be acknowledged in the same way. Just last month this very subject was debated in the House of Parliament, with Nicky Aitken MP raising the issue. Watch the clip here.

    Also consider that we at Apricity offer a virtual fertility clinic model, meaning that our benefits give your colleagues the best treatment with the least disruption to their lives. We can send remote nurses to do blood tests at patients’ homes and ultrasound scans at home or close by. We also have the option of virtual consultations where possible, so people often only need two face-to-face clinic visits per IVF cycle compared to nine or ten times with the traditional model. This can greatly reduce the time that employees need to take off work.


    Creating a fertility policy at work is not only a practical step towards supporting employees' mental and reproductive health, but also a testament to your company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

    By understanding the needs of your workforce, offering comprehensive benefits, and establishing an open and honest culture of support, you can create an environment where employees feel empowered to pursue their family-building goals with confidence and peace of mind. As you embark on this journey, remember that small gestures of compassion can make a significant difference in the lives of your employees.

    For more detailed advice on how to create a fertility policy at work, or to find out more about the fertility benefits we offer, please book a call with a member of our corporate team here

    Written by Apricity Team

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