For Immediate Release
August 9, 2016


Survey Report: Family-Friendly Benefits Gain Popularity in the Workplace

Brookfield, Wisconsin—In an effort to attract and retain top talent, employers are offering a variety of family-friendly benefits including perks such as fertility services, paid leave and flexible workhours.

A new survey, Employee Benefits Survey 2016, conducted by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans examines the many ways employers are creating a family-friendly culture in the workplace.

Fertility Services Offered By 24% of Large Employers

A quarter of employers (24%) with 500 or more employees offer fertility services as part of their health care benefits. Nineteen percent cover in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments, 12% cover fertility medications and 9% cover non-IVF fertility treatments. Smaller numbers cover visits with counselors (geneticists, surrogacy, etc.), at 6%, or egg harvesting/freezing services, at 4%.

"Fertility services are a highly valued benefit for employees, often with a low cost impact for employers," explained Julie Stich, CEBS, director of research at the International Foundation. "Employees who have access to fertility benefits can actually have overall lower health care costs because they are making decisions with their doctors based on medical best practice, not on personal financial concerns."

Fertility services are more common among employers that have at least 500 employees. Only 4% of employers with fewer than 50 employees offer fertility services. Employers with a self-funded health plan are also more likely to offer fertility services than those with insured plans.

Nearly Half of Employers Offer Flexible Work Schedules

Among employers of all sizes—from less than 50 to more than 10,000 employees—more than one-third (37%) offer paid maternity leave and nearly one quarter (24%) offer paid paternity leave. Nineteen percent offer paid leave for adoption.

Employers are also offering leave to attend a child's activities—9% provide paid leave, and 21% offer unpaid leave.

"Employers are striving to create a workplace culture that is family-friendly," said Stich. "Offering paid leave and flexible schedules help employees strike a better work/life balance. It also allows employees to remain at their most focused and productive while at the office."

Forty-seven percent of employers offer flexible workhours or compressed workweeks. One in ten (9%) offers job sharing (where two or more part-time workers share one full-time job).

Number of Family-Friendly Benefits Continues to Grow

"Employers are offering more and more niche benefits to meet the needs of their workforce," said Stich. "Helping employees make the transition to parenthood can allow employers to retain top talent while building employee loyalty."

Other family-friendly perks offered by employers include:

  • Dependent care flexible spending accounts – 69%
  • Resource and referral services for child care – 22%
  • Resource and referral services for adopted children – 14%
  • Take Your Child to Work Day – 17%
  • Financial assistance for adoption – 16%
  • Emergency/sick child care – 10%
  • On-site or near-site child care – 8%
  • Child-care subsidies – 3%
  • Special needs child care – 1%
  • Babies at work – 1%
  • Breast milk shipping for new mothers who travel – 1%

 The full report, Employee Benefits Survey 2016, is available at


The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans is the premier educational organization dedicated to providing the diverse employee benefits community with objective, solution-oriented education, research and information to ensure the health and financial security of plan beneficiaries worldwide. The Foundation has more than 33,000 multiemployer, corporate and public sector members representing over 25 million lives. For additional information, visit