A Guide for Employers to Create an Inclusive Workplace Culture

Fertility benefits and family-building benefits are two types of employer-provided benefits that can support employees who are trying to conceive or grow their families in non-traditional ways. But what is the difference between these two types of benefits, and which one should employers offer?

In this blog post, we will explore the differences between fertility benefits and family-building benefits, so employers can make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the right workplace benefit for their employees.

What are fertility benefits?

Fertility benefits are a type of employee benefit that is intended to support employees who are struggling with infertility or facing other challenges when trying to conceive. Fertility benefits typically include coverage for fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), fertility medications, fertility preservation (freezing eggs or sperm), coverage for medications, such as fertility drugs, and access to counseling and education services.

Fertility benefits can provide much-needed financial assistance for couples or individuals who are struggling to conceive. While fertility benefits are not typically covered by health insurance, some employers have begun to offer these benefits as part of their employee benefits package. The cost of fertility treatments can hinder an employee’s ability to pursue the appropriate treatment options. Fertility benefits can help offset costs for couples or individuals who require these services.

What are family-building benefits?

Family-building benefits are more inclusive and can include support for a wider range of family-building options. For example, family-building benefits may include financial assistance for adoption and surrogacy, as well as fertility treatments. These benefits acknowledge that not all employees may be able or choose to conceive naturally and that families can take many different forms, such as single or LGBTQIA+ parents.

“We recognize that there are a lot of different ways to build a family, and providing these benefits really supports our ‘people come first’ philosophy.”  Karen Gehrig, Director of Employee Benefits,  Ferring Pharmaceuticals USA

Family-building benefits can be beneficial to both employers and employees. For employers, providing these types of benefits can help to attract and retain top talent and reduce employee turnover. For employees, family-building benefits can help them navigate the complex processes of surrogacy and adoption and balance the demands of work and family life.

Family-building benefits promote diversity and inclusion

While fertility benefits are important for employees struggling with infertility, family-building benefits take a more inclusive approach and can support a wider range of family-building options.

From a perspective of diversity and inclusion, offering family-building benefits can be a more equitable approach than just offering fertility benefits. It recognizes that there are many paths to building a family and that employees have different needs and preferences. By providing a range of options, employers can support a more diverse workforce and create a more inclusive workplace culture. Additionally, family-building benefits can be particularly helpful for LGBTQ+ employees, who may face unique challenges when it comes to starting a family.

Every employee deserves access to family-building benefits regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or medical condition, or whether they are single or partnered. Employers must serve the needs of ALL employees on their unique path by offering non-traditional family-building benefits.

Employers should consider adding inclusive family-building benefits to their fertility benefits package

Offering family-building benefits that support non-traditional paths to parenthood sends a clear message that an employer is committed to diversity and inclusion. This can improve an employer’s reputation and help attract and retain a more diverse workforce.

By acknowledging that not all employees may be able or want to conceive naturally and that families can take many different forms, employers can create a more inclusive workplace culture that values and supports a wide range of family structures.

“If you want to support that statement, your benefits need to embrace the lifestyle and experiences of your employees outside of their 9-to-5s, and for many that reality is fertility assistance and family planning,” Sposato said. “Not only will offering family planning as a benefit attract top talent, but it will also garner respect from those employees not even looking to utilize it because you’re recognizing an area of healthcare, that affects both men and women, that for too long has been overlooked and is still being overlooked by many.” Angela Sposato, Chief Human Resource Officer, 5W Public Relations

Family-building benefits can be particularly beneficial for LGBTQ+ employees, who may face unique challenges when it comes to starting a family. For example, LGBTQ+ employees may need to use fertility treatments, adoption, or surrogacy to build their families. By offering family-building benefits, employers can show their support for LGBTQ+ employees and help to address the inequities they may face in accessing family-building options.

Providing family-building benefits can also increase employee satisfaction and productivity by reducing the stress and financial burden of family building. Employees who have access to these benefits may feel more supported by their employer and more empowered to make the family-building choices that are right for them.

Learn more about Vesta’s inclusive family-building benefit

To truly be inclusive, employers should provide both fertility and family-building benefits, such as Vesta, which address the unique challenges faced by a diverse workforce. By doing so, they can provide support for a wide range of family-building options and create a more inclusive workplace culture that values and supports all employees on their unique path.

If you would like more information about how to implement an inclusive family-building benefit plan for your employees, contact us today. Our team at Vesta is here to provide you with an inclusive family-building benefit that guides your employees through their non-traditional path to parenthood.