Global law firms Cooley and Clifford Chance have for the first time included fertility benefits within their UK staff benefit packages, which will now include egg freezing and in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
US law firm Cooley introduced the benefits in the UK after successfully deploying them for US staff.
London-based magic circle law firm Clifford Chance meanwhile has extended its health insurance to cover fertility treatments and investigations up to a value of £15,000.
The move follows its decision to offer advice on menopause, fertility, and parenthood through the healthcare app Peppy, which the firm signed up in March to support staff for its menopause service.
It then noted a high take-up of the fertility advice service, which prompted a review of the scheme. Managing partner Michael Bates explained: “We have learnt since launching Peppy for our UK employees in March this year that there has been significant interest in the fertility strand of the platform.
“As a part of our Inclusion strategy to Change the Lived Experience of our colleagues, we are committed to strengthening our support during challenging life transitions and I’m pleased to confirm that we have enhanced our private medical scheme to now include infertility investigations and fertility treatment.”
In the US, family planning services are often included among employee benefits at large progressive-minded firms. However, they are very rare in the UK.
Cooley, which is based in California but has operations in London, has launched a fertility and family-forming benefit for its London office in partnership with Carrot. It offers reimbursements of up to £45,000 for treatments.
Its benefit, which it has offered to US employees since October 2020, applies to all employees and partners in London and their spouses/partners who would like to have a child or preserve their fertility, including single parents by choice and LGBTQ+ individuals and couples.
Sascha Grimm, a partner at Cooley in London, said: “The firm supports all paths to parenthood and we are proud to partner with Carrot and enable our employees and partners to access the very best fertility and family-forming services available.”
Cooley’s package includes egg and sperm freezing, IVF, intrauterine insemination (IUI), adoption services and gestational carrier support.
The moves attracted positive comments at the CIPD Festival of Work conference this week.
Allyson Stewart-Allen, CEO of International Marketing Partners, told delegates that Clifford Chance and Cooley’s moves were great examples of companies taking a global approach that makes sense in local markets. She said: “Companies need to adopt a global mindset to gain a capability payoff. Global and local brand is boosted and this builds trust.”