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Businesses urged to consider fertility support for employees

Emotional and financial strain can affect people’s productivity

Businesses are being encouraged to consider providing fertility support to their employees.

Aon said infertility can impact employees’ emotional and financial wellbeing, with a potential knock-on effect to organisational productivity.

According to the employee benefits consultancy, infertility is not typically or well covered by medical insurance and there is inconsistent support from the primary care sector.

Employee support can be provided through medical coverage options that support infertility or workplace low interest loans; standalone fertility benefit packages; flexibility in working hours to support time required to attend appointments, consultations and procedures; and mental health support, such as access to employee assistance programme.

One in seven couples in the UK are expected to experience fertility issues. The NHS may support couples in the initial stages but others may require additional invasive treatments which are not routinely funded by the NHS.

Rachel Western, principal at Aon, said the diagnosis of infertility could result in a tremendous impact on the emotional and psychological wellbeing of an individual, often exacerbated by the financial stress created due to the cost of treatment options.

Forward-thinking firms are considering supporting employees through employee benefits packages, not least because the financial implications for individuals can be considerable,” she added. “The average cost of fertility treatment is approximately £5,000 per cycle and in many instances multiple cycles are performed. Understandably, the emotional costs can be enormous too.”

Western said employers who think about ways to support individuals are likely to be viewed favourably by employees.

“In addition, providing this support can help maintain productivity, which needs to be a consideration from a business management perspective,” she stated.