- Technology conglomerate Cisco Systems has announced three new family-friendly benefits for employees: egg storage reimbursement, surrogacy reimbursement and genetic testing. Released in time for open enrollment, the benefits aim to support well-being for its more than 70,000 global employees, according to a press release.
- Among the benefits, Cisco will reimburse employees up to $20,000 to harvest or store eggs or embryos and support pregnancy-fostering services. It also will increase reimbursement for adoption and surrogacy from $10,000 to $20,000 in 2019. The company will cover genetic testing to identify gene changes associated with breast and ovarian cancer, even if the test is not medically necessary.
- The benefits come as a part of Cisco's People Deal, a "manifesto" that details the promises Cisco makes to its employees and what it expects in return. Last year, Cisco expanded its leave program to "be more inclusive for family members caring for a new baby" without regard to gender.
Innovative family-oriented benefits are gaining traction among employers' offerings. For example, Starbucks just announced that it's offering subsidized caregiving services for workers who care for adults and children. PwC is offering phased return to work, which allows employees returning from parental leave to work 60% of their time at 100% of their pay for four weeks after their return. Employers are becoming more focused on the needs of caregivers, who make up a significant portion of the workforce and need time off for, or assistance with, caring for children or adults, or both.
This shift may well pay off in the long run. Employees say they value workplace programs that support families. Paid family leave and paid parental leave are among the most sought-after benefits employers can offer. Although more money is the top motivator for job seekers, when survey respondents have been asked what would make them more likely to apply for a job, they said attractive benefits and perks. Unique benefits can give employers fighting for talent an edge.