- Starbucks added more fertility benefits to its Family Expansion Reimbursement program effective Oct. 1. The program initially included adoption expenses and now also includes surrogacy and intrauterine insemination reimbursement if they're not covered by insurance, according to Human Resource Executive.
- The new benefit covers employees up to $10,000 per qualifying event, and up to a lifetime maximum of $30,000. Starbucks also increased the lifetime maximums from $15,000 to $25,000 for fertility services and from $5,000 to $10,000 for prescription drugs.
- The benefits are available to eligible full-time and part-time employees.
With this latest benefit, Starbucks is stepping up its employment incentives once again, adding to its extensive list of benefits — including last year's expansion of sick leave and parental leave and a partnership with Care.com to subsidize backup daycare for children and adults. Last month, the company added more mental health benefits.
This newest addition could be particularly helpful for retention, especially since many employers are reducing infertility treatment benefits. According to HR Executive, employers offering IVF and infertility treatments declined from 27% to 19% and from 25% to 18%, respectively.
Still, about one-third of companies with 500 or more employees now offer fertility benefits, compared to 24% in 2016. So, plenty of companies recognize that such benefits can provide a major advantage, particularly in the tightest labor market in 50 years. This market has yielded high turnover rates, which is costly for restaurants.
Starbucks also has a good PR angle with its extended benefits by offering solutions for employee pain points, such as the high cost of fertility treatments, or the challenge of caretaking. The company noted in the Care.com partnership release, for example, that 2 million working parents quit their jobs in 2016 because of child care issues, and nearly 70% said they had to take time off or adjust their work schedules because of their caregiving responsibilities.
With its newest benefits, Starbucks is likely to generate interest from plenty of potential employees. Fertility testing company Modern Fertility and Glamour found 59% of women would opt for a company offering fertility benefits over a company that didn't. Further, in a FertilityIQ survey of patients who received full IVF coverage through their employers, 73% had more gratitude toward their employers, 61% felt more loyal, and 53% said it made them want to stay with an employer longer. Such benefits may be expensive for companies up front, but employee loyalty and happiness provides a solid return on investment, especially since hiring can cost an average of $4,000 to over $7,000 per employee.
Indeed, Starbucks' turnover rate in 2018 was about 65%, whereas the average turnover rate in the restaurant industry ranges between 150% and 400%.