4 big employee benefits trends for family planning. What you need to know about family-friendly employee benefits like fertility services, paid maternity leave and childcare assistance.

More employers are offering family-friendly benefits like paid maternity leave and fertility services to attract employees in today’s competitive labor market, according to a report from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

“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,” explained Julie Stitch, CEBS, associate vice president of content at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. “I expect we’ll see family-friendly benefits continue to grow as part of the larger trend of expanding work-life balance policies.’”

Family Planning Employee Benefits for Fertility

Fertility benefits aren’t just for big corporations anymore. Ten percent of employers with 50 or fewer employees offer some sort of fertility benefit (up from 4 percent in 2016). More than 30 percent of employers with 500 or more employees offer fertility benefits (up from 24 percent in 2016). Employers most commonly offer:

  • In-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments (23 percent)
  • Fertility medications (18 percent)
  • Genetic testing to determine infertility issues (15 percent)
  • Non-IVF fertility treatments (13 percent)
  • Visits with fertility counselors (9 percent)
  • Egg harvesting or freezing services (7 percent)

Paid Leave Benefits Are Expanding

Paid leave offerings are expanding as employers strive to meet the demands of employees’ personal lives. Maternity leave is offered by more than 40 percent of employers of all sizes, from employers who manage fewer than 50 employees to companies with more than 10,000 employees. More than 30 percent of employers now offer paternity leave (up from 24 percent in 2016) and more than 20 percent offer paid adoption leave.

It’s important to note employers are providing additional types of leave for different situations, for example:

  • Paid family/caregiving leave (17 percent)
  • Paid leave to attend a child’s activities (8 percent)
  • Unpaid family leave (34 percent offer this beyond FMLA requirements)
  • Unpaid adoption leave (26 percent)
  • Unpaid leave to attend a child’s activities (25 percent)

Flexible Scheduling Benefits for Parents

Flexible scheduling is a must, especially for parents. More than half of employers offer flexible work hours or compressed work weeks. Nearly ten percent of employers offer ‘job sharing’, where two or more employees share one full-time job. Employers also offer childcare benefits that resolve some of the need for flexibility and help parents cover the steep cost of childcare:

  • Resource and referral services for childcare (27  percent)
  • Emergency/sick childcare (7 percent)
  • On-site or near-site childcare (5 percent)
  • Childcare subsidies (3 percent)

Employee Benefits for Financial/Family Planning

Financial planning is a necessity for family planning. More than 70 percent of employers offer dependent care flexible spending accounts. Fifteen percent of employers now offer 529 savings plans that help save for children’s higher education. Over 10 percent offer scholarships or paid tuition for employees’ children.

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