The traditional route to parenthood is relatively well catered for in the workplace. Maternity benefits and flexible working policies are usually straightforward and well known. However, support for employees going through adoption is not always as readily available despite fertility equality being very much needed.
It is not as straightforward either. Whilst adoption is extremely rewarding, it can be a lengthy and emotional process, making it a complex and often sensitive subject to discuss and cater for.
Having policies and guidance in place however will ensure you can support your employees throughout the process.
Here we explore which benefits you can include, plus the additional support you can offer to become an adoption friendly workplace.
Current rights for employees who adopt
First, let’s look at what employees going through adoption may be entitled to, giving workplaces the opportunity to check that information on adoption is up to date and accessible.
Employees can take up to 52 weeks’ Statutory Adoption Leave; the first 26 weeks is known as ‘Ordinary Adoption Leave’, with the remaining 26 weeks known as ‘Additional Adoption Leave’.
Employees may be entitled to Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) which is calculated at 90% of their gross average weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks, followed by £156.66 a week or 90% of their gross average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks. Employee’s employment rights are protected during adoption leave.
Similar to maternity and paternity leave, employees can choose which stage of the process they would like their adoption leave, and therefore adoption pay, to begin.
You can offer more than the statutory amounts should you wish to as part of a company scheme for adoption leave and pay.
Educating employees on adoption
Having a company policy in place and making it readily available is one thing, next up could be educating all employees about adoption and the effects of the process to create a supportive and safe space. You could ask all employees to read the adoption policy, educate them on what adoption entails plus share ways they can support colleagues going through the process.
Creating a supportive space to discuss fertility and adoption
You could go a step further in supporting employees going through the adoption process by creating a dedicated space in the workplace where employees can talk about fertility and adoption. Ideas could include facilitating a support group, offering on or off site counselling, or offering access to online courses.
Understanding what employees who adopt go through
As with any life experience, one of the most important steps in becoming adoption friendly is to gain as much of an insight into the whole process as possible, not just on a practical level but emotionally too.
There is plenty of advice online, however you could consider linking up with therapists and/ or those working in adoption to learn about what employees will go through to be able to offer empathy, understanding and support.
Offering flexibility for those going through the process
Offering flexible working is an essential part of becoming an adoption friendly workplace, this should be clearly outlined on any policy you put in place. There will be many appointments employees going through adoption will need to attend, plus they may face setbacks along the way too which could lead to further appointments and/or emotional distress.
Creating a supportive space will help to cater for employees emotional needs, with flexible working allowing for the more practical elements.
Including adoption in your employee’s benefits strategy
You have your policies and support in place, now it’s time to make them official by including adoption in your overall benefits strategy. Demonstrating that you understand the needs of the modern workforce will not only make you a desirable company to work for, but it will help you attract top talent too. We are firm believers that employees should never have to choose between family and career.
By adopting an adoption benefits package, a company can show their employees that they understand that the path to parenthood is not always straightforward and that they are there to support them in the process.
This can be key information for prospective employees to learn prior as they may worry about needing to take time off for appointments, potentially preventing them from applying.
Adoption benefits with Apryl
Here at Apryl, we help modern companies to create inclusivity and equality for their employees so that they can focus on flourishing in their careers whilst navigating their path to parenthood at the same time.
How does it work?
Apryl is a digital platform that allows employers to retain and attract top talent whilst tackling inequality and giving employees a versatile range of fertility benefits.
When an employer signs up with Apryl, they get access to an intuitive dashboard and management system that allows them to monitor and update their adoption benefits program all in one place. This is all backed by expert operational support from our specialist team.
In addition, the platform gives employees access to safe and confidential advice, appointments and family planning information.
What do employers get?
By adopting Apyrl’s fertility benefits program, employers will be able to offer inclusivity and support to all their employees, all whilst being supported themselves by our expert team.
Apryl will help employers craft and roll out their fertility benefits program. We offer guidance through all implementation stages, including customised support in the form of templates, webinars, workshops, and FAQs.
Using the Apryl platform, employers will be able to manage their employee list, ensuring all eligible staff are enrolled on the fertility benefits program. Employers will also have access to anonymised employee data and be able to track utilisation and cost data with ease.
What do employees get?
When an employer joins Apryl, their employees gain access to a range of family-forming and fertility benefits.
If you are an employer who would like to find out more about implementing adoption benefits within your company, then please get in touch with Apryl. We’re here ready to answer any questions you may have, with the option of arranging a demo of our platform to see how it would benefit your company.