Employer branding | Providing family-forming benefits and support could be key in making your business a more attractive place to work

Providing family-forming benefits and support could be key in making your business a more attractive place to work

Over the last 3 years, we have seen a profound change in the way that we think, work and live, driven by the significant ripple effect of the COVID pandemic and the ‘Great Resignation’ of 2021.

We have noted that hybrid working, and the flexibility that comes with it, has encouraged people to consider what is most important to them. Consequentially (and rather understandably), many have come to realise that family takes precedence when it comes to how they want to prioritise their time.

This is illustrated by the almost 2 million UK people that dropped out of the workforce due to family commitments, in the 12 months predating October 2022 alone (The Guardian).

As a result, there now seems to be a more prominent battle between career progression and starting a family, with the assumption being that one must make way for the other to become a possibility. This could suggest that people may not feel that their roles will accommodate for their journey to starting a family, especially if this journey involves additional steps – as can be the case with things like adoption and surrogacy.

Family-forming benefits

Family-forming benefits focus on alleviating the potential struggles faced by couples exploring these options; the primary purpose of these benefits is to show your people that the choice doesn’t have to be starting a family OR progressing their career – they can do both. It can also promote inclusivity and acceptance; it can raise awareness of the struggles that LGBTQIA2+ couples and couples with fertility complications face when looking to start a family, which could help them to feel seen, understood and catered for.

The crossroads of starting a family vs prioritising a career can also cause your business to lose valuable talent. Financially investing into your people by helping to make starting a family more manageable alongside work, can help to not only communicate their value to you as their employer, but demonstrates your commitment to honouring and accommodating for their life goals and aspirations.

Family-forming benefits can include:


  • Adoption-specific leave

  • Financial assistance


  • Access to fertility medications

  • Support with fertility treatments (be that dedicated leave or financial assistance)

  • Visits with counsellors (e.g geneticists and surrogacy supervisors)

  • Support with genetic testing

  • Access to egg harvesting and freezing services

Other support

  • Paternity support for new fathers

  • Help developing more inclusive HR policies

It all starts with culture

Aside from the financial investment into family-forming benefits, the root of offering the right support is a culture that has diversity and inclusion at its core. Without a work environment that is inclusive, accepting and accommodating, the benefits are just one piece of an incomplete puzzle.

Alternative support can include:

  • Recognising the processes involved for couples looking to start a family via adoption, surrogacy or additional fertility support

  • Granting additional days off for related absence

  • Writing family-forming inclusivity into core policies

  • Educating your people on challenges faced by LGBTQIA2+ couples and couples with fertility issues, to help foster understanding and acceptance throughout your people

  • Striving to eliminate taboos surrounding the LGBTQIA2+ community and stereotypical gender roles (e.g supporting paternity leave as well as maternity leave), to help encourage open, constructive conversations

Further areas of support can include:

Demonstrating a commitment to supporting couples that need family-forming support, can be a fundamental solution to a variety of staffing issues you may have. Supporting employees financially by offering relevant family-forming employee benefits and/or culturally by maintaining a diverse, inclusive and accepting workforce and policies, can help:

  • Retain talent that otherwise may have been thinking of leaving employment

  • Build a reputation as a generous employer, encouraging top talent to apply for your roles

  • Foster a diverse workforce which can help to build a more innovative, forward-thinking and profitable business (Why diversity matters | McKinsey)

NFP’s guide to international benefits

With more benefits, reward and HR professionals taking on multinational responsibilities, our team of experienced international benefits consultants have created this new guide to share their high-level insight into the key aspects of running a successful international benefits programme.

In the comprehensive guide, you'll learn:

  • What to consider when designing your global benefits strategy

  • How to identify the right benefits and provider(s) to deliver them

  • How to efficiently run your global benefits programme

  • How to review and maintain oversight of your programme

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Johnson Fleming

At Johnson Fleming, we adopt a pro-active approach and offer innovative solutions that can add real value to your business. We’re here to help your business with the design, broking, engagement and administration of your group pension, rewards and employee benefits, delivering a service personalised to your business and, importantly, your people. Through ongoing advice and support, we’ll help you achieve your business goals and legislative obligations.