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Why Family-Building Benefits Are Key to Equity and Inclusivity in the Workplace

Family-building benefits are more important than ever. To stay competitive, employers must expand their offerings to support today’s diverse workforce.

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Today, having support to start or grow a family is more important than ever to employees. Employers are taking note and improving their offerings in this area. A survey from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans revealed that 40% of U.S. organizations offered family-building benefits in 2022 – up from 30% in 2020.

What are family-building benefits?

Family-building employee benefits help employees start or grow their families. They provide financial, logistical, and emotional support to employees pursuing parenthood. These benefits can include fertility treatments, adoption assistance, surrogacy support, and flexible work policies to accommodate caretaking.

The importance of providing these benefits to employees

Why should the other 60% of employers pay attention to the expanding realm of family-building benefits?

Simply put, employer peers and prospective talent increasingly expects inclusive family-building support beyond the health plan. Offering these benefits to employees is a win-win for several reasons:

First, they can help attract and retain top talent. Employees who have access to fertility benefits are more satisfied with their companies and less likely to leave.

Second, family-building benefits can improve employee productivity. When employees don't have to worry about how they're going to pay for fertility treatments or take care of a new baby, they can better focus on their work.

How family-building benefits support equity and inclusion

Growing a family can be a stressful undertaking for anyone, especially when it involves alternative family-building methods like IVF, adoption, and surrogacy. These paths present medical, financial, and mental health hurdles.

Offering support and benefits across a wide spectrum of family-building methods helps businesses build a more diverse and inclusive workforce. When all employees feel like their families are supported by their employer, they feel valued and respected

4 perspectives for creating an inclusive family-building benefits package

Inclusivity is top of mind for employers who value building a diverse workforce of people who bring valuable perspectives from all walks of life. While many companies have offered benefits like paid parental leave for decades, broadening your definition of “family-building benefits” may be a new endeavor.

Consider these four perspectives as you evaluate your current benefits plan for improvement opportunities.

  1. Diversity: Employees face various, and sometimes compounding, challenges when it comes to growing a family. Consider how race, gender, orientation, and disability status impact your employees’ family-building journeys. Then review your benefits offering from their perspectives, noting any gaps.
  2. Communication: Make sure everyone understands their options by prioritizing the accessibility of your benefits information. Consider disabilities and language barriers as you communicate the family-building benefits you offer.
  3. Cultural sensitivity: Recognize that family-building needs and approaches vary across cultures. Design benefits thoughtfully and avoid assumptions about how employees may choose to use the benefits offered.
  4. Flexible work arrangements: You can support diverse families by accommodating appointments, childcare, and other obligations. Flexible schedules, remote work options, and extended leave all contribute to an inclusive workplace for parents.

Family-building benefits are a rising tide

In 2024 and beyond, it’s absolutely crucial for employers to offer comprehensive benefits that support a path to parenthood for all employees. It’s about more than recruitment and retention.

It’s part of a larger movement to understand that your employees have diverse needs – and then meeting those needs by creating access to care and supporting your entire workforce. In turn your employees who are parents bring unique skills that come with embracing parenthood along with their talents and experience to help your organization reach its goals.

Paytient is an employer-sponsored benefit that can help your employees access and afford the care they need to start or grow their family. Reach out to us for more information!

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