Blog > An introduction to fertility benefits

An introduction to fertility benefits

Fertility benefits help employees navigate the emotional, physical, and financial aspects of family-building. In turn, this boosts business by improving productivity, increasing retention, and cementing your position as an inclusive, family-focused employer.

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Written by Apricity Team
An introduction to fertility benefits

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    In recent years, the landscape of employee benefits has evolved to encompass a wider array of offerings, reflecting the diverse needs and priorities of today's workforce. Among these benefits, fertility support has emerged as a crucial area for consideration, particularly as more individuals and couples navigate the complexities of starting or growing their families.

    Fertility benefits are a form of employee support that helps employees on their paths to parenthood through such things as coverage for assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment, adoption guidance, and fertility preservation.

    In this article, we offer an introduction to fertility benefits, exploring what fertility benefits are, why they're important, and how they can be effectively implemented to support employees. From understanding the basics to finding the right provider, we give a comprehensive guide that empowers you to make informed decisions regarding fertility benefits within your organisation.

    What are fertility benefits?

    Fertility benefits encompass a range of support services and resources designed to assist individuals and couples in their journey towards parenthood. These benefits typically include access to fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), egg and sperm freezing, diagnostic procedures, and counselling services.

    However, the most comprehensive fertility benefits offer a diverse portfolio of assistance that caters to the bespoke needs of all employees including heterosexual couples, single people, and LGBTQ individuals and partners. They provide support for the many ways in which people add to their families including adoption and surrogacy, and foster a company-wide culture of understanding and inclusivity which allows employees to thrive in their personal and professional lives.  

    happy family loving each other

    Why are fertility benefits important?

    In the UK, 3.5 million people face fertility challenges. These can take a drastic toll on their well-being with a multitude of statistics highlighting the impact:

    • 50% of women and 15% of men cite infertility as the most upsetting experience of their lives.

    • 61% of people rate infertility as more stressful than divorce.

    • 90% experience some level of depression and 43% feel suicidal.

    • Of those planning to start a family, 100% of LGBTQ people need help to do so.

    •  48% of people undergoing treatment report significant financial worries.

    Further, infertility, barriers to care and undergoing treatment negatively affect employees while they are at work:

    • 75% of people say their productivity at work was strongly impacted by their fertility challenges.

    • 56% experience decreased job satisfaction.

    • 63% of individuals admit their engagement declined.

    • 36% had to take increased sickness absence

    • Nearly 4 in 10 people consider leaving their jobs or actually quit due to their fertility challenges.

    In contrast, those employers who offer fertility benefits see better outcomes for their employees and their businesses:

    • 61% of employees who received fertility benefits said they felt more loyal and committed to their employer.

    • Nearly three-quarters of employees reveal they would stay at their company longer if they provided fertility benefits.

    Moreover, results of a CIPD report found that overall, the impact of fertility support on employees was positive, with employee mental health and their ability to perform well in their jobs cited as outcomes.

    There’s a clear indication of a gap between the needs of employees and current fertility benefits. By addressing these through well-considered policies and programs, employers can make a tangible difference to their employees’ lives and see advantages within their workplace too.

    Examples of fertility benefits

    Fertility benefits take many forms with the extent of the offering and level of financial support differing significantly between employers. For example, according to a 2021 survey, 58% of employers with 500 or more employees cover evaluation by a reproductive endocrinologist or infertility specialist yet only 27% cover IVF and only 11% cover egg freezing.

    The support you offer employees should align with their varying needs and situations. Therefore, fertility benefits may include:

    • Financial assistance: Reimbursement or coverage for fertility testing, fertility treatments including IVF, IUI, and ICSI, medications, and related procedures.

    • Fertility preservation: Support for egg or sperm freezing for individuals facing medical conditions or treatments that may affect their fertility and for those whose personal circumstances mean they are not yet ready to start a family but want to have a chance of parenthood later in life.

    •  Preconception care: Medical, behavioural, and psychological interventions that help employees prepare for and improve the outcomes of natural conception including dieticians, stop-smoking support, and fertility specialists.

    • Counselling services: Access to mental health professionals experienced in supporting individuals through fertility-related challenges including prolonged infertility, pregnancy loss, donor conception, and transgender and non-binary pregnancy.

    •  Flexible work arrangements: Policies that allow for flexible working hours or remote work to accommodate fertility treatment schedules.

    • Paid leave: Giving employees time off to attend fertility or adoption appointments and extending the amount of paid parental leave available.

    • Education and resources: Workshops, seminars, and online resources providing information on fertility health, family planning, and available benefits.

     Postpartum and return to work support: Assistance and accommodations that help new parents such as access to lactation and sleep specialists, childcare and mental health services.

    mother and daughter breackfast

    How can employers implement fertility benefits?

    It is pivotal that management and HR leaders combine their skills and experience, along with insights from their staff and provider expertise to formulate and roll out effective fertility benefits. Implementing fertility benefits involves several key steps:

    • Assessment: Conduct a thorough evaluation of employee needs and preferences through surveys, focus groups, and consultations with fertility experts.

    • Policy development: Develop clear and comprehensive policies outlining the scope of fertility benefits, eligibility criteria, coverage limits, and any other pertinent points.

    • Communication: Communicate the availability of fertility benefits effectively to employees through various channels, ensuring transparency and accessibility.

    • Partnerships: Collaborate with reputable fertility clinics, insurers, benefits providers and/or support organisations to provide high-quality services and resources.

    • Evaluation and adjustment: Continuously monitor the effectiveness of fertility benefits, seeking feedback from employees and making adjustments as needed to meet evolving needs.

    How to find the right fertility benefits provider

    Once you have an in-depth knowledge of the needs and expectations of your employees, you then need to source resources and services that meet them. Partnering with a specialist fertility benefits provider like Apricity ensures that your offering is fit for purpose, delivers exceptional care, and makes the user experience for your employees and your organisation as simple and stress-free as possible. When selecting a fertility benefits provider, consider the following factors:

    • Reputation and experience: Look for providers with a proven track record of delivering high-quality fertility services and support.

    • Range of services: Ensure the provider offers a comprehensive range of fertility treatments, support programmes, and resources tailored to diverse needs.

    • Cost and coverage: Evaluate the affordability and coverage of the provider's offerings, considering the financial impact on your organisation and your employees.

    • Accessibility: Choose a provider with conveniently located clinics or online options, making it easier for employees to access care.

    • Customer and patient support: Assess the provider's customer service quality, including responsiveness, communication channels, and support for employees using their service.

    By carefully considering these factors and engaging in thorough research and consultation, employers can identify a fertility benefits provider that aligns with their organisation's values, priorities, and the needs of their workforce.

    Apricity is a world leader in innovative fertility care, delivered through an at-home model that places personalised and compassionate care at the heart of its service. We partner with clinics across the country and our IVF success rates for own and donor egg cycles exceed national averages. We operate on a transparent, all-inclusive pricing structure that allows employers to easily manage their budgets and reduces out-of-pocket expenses for employees. To find out more, get in touch with our corporate team.

    Written by Apricity Team

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    Written by our group of fertility experts and doctors consultants

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