- More employers are offering family-friendly benefits, including fertility services, paid leave and flexible scheduling, according to a new survey from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
- Slightly less than one-third of employers with 500 or more employees offer some type of fertility benefit, while 41% of employers of all sizes offer paid maternity leave and 32% offer paid paternity leave. Additionally, 34% offer unpaid family leave beyond what's required by the Family and Medical Leave Act.
- Other family-friendly benefits that have seen increases during the past two years include dependent care and flexible spending accounts (+5%), resource and referral services for child care (+5%), Take Your Child to Work Day (+6%), financial assistance for adoption (+1%), and 529 education plans (+5%).
In a fierce war for talent, employers are turning to a wide variety of tactics to attract the best workers, including family-focused perks. According to a 2017 Willis Towers Watson survey, 66% of surveyed employers planned to offer fertility benefits by 2019. The survey also predicted that fertility coverage for same-sex couples would reach 81% by 2019, among employers offering fertility benefits.
More employers are also offering paid parental leave these days — about 40%, up from 25% in 2015, according to a Mercer survey. Paid family leave is a highly desirable perk, according to a poll conducted by Unum, with workers prioritizing it over flexible and remote work options, sabbaticals, student loan repayment programs, pet-friendly offices and pet insurance.
As much as such benefits serve employees, they can also provide a boost for employers. Even for employees who don't have children, family-friendly benefits send a message that the company cares about its workers as individuals, with lives outside the office. This, in turn, can increase employee engagement and satisfaction; disengaged workers pose a serious threat to productivity.
On a larger scale, family-friendly policies enable more people to enter and remain in the workforce. A report published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco suggests that the U.S. could add up to 5 million workers between the ages of 25 and 54 to its labor force with policies like subsidized childcare and parental leave, which have proven successful in Canada.