Social media giant Pinterest is enhancing its workplace benefit offerings in an effort to help its employees start families.

Beginning July 1, Pinterest employees will have access to up to $5,000 in adoption reimbursement and up to $20,000 for surrogacy benefits, which can be used to cover costs “associated with everything from travel to agency and legal fees, [plus] any other related expenses,” according to the company.

In a blog post this week announcing the new offering, Pinterest head of diversity and inclusion Candice Morgan explained that the new benefits were the result of a conversation with an employee who was struggling with surrogacy costs.

“Our [team] often speaks with employees to learn more about how we should expand our benefits, and we recently spoke with a colleague who’s been looking into surrogacy with his husband,” she wrote. “The high costs associated with surrogacy were raised, and we began looking into how we could help him, and others in similar situations, ease the financial burden.”

Morgan also noted that the company will continue to expand its benefit offerings “so that all employees and their families feel represented and supported.”

The company already provides parental leave of 16 weeks, plus a four-week transition, as well as fertility benefits of up to $20,000. Pinterest has about 500 employees.

“Our hope is that all companies, regardless of size, continue to have these conversations and build inclusive workplaces,” Morgan says.

Though just a small number of companies currently offer adoption and surrogacy reimbursement, more employers are beginning to think about expanding family benefits. American Express, for example, this year increased its employee benefits for fertility, surrogacy, adoption and lactation. It now offers its workers up to $35,000 per adoption or surrogacy event (up to a maximum of two events per employee) to help with the cost of surrogacy or adoption.

Peter Marcia, CEO of YouDecide, a voluntary benefits platform, says these employers are “taking a step in the right direction” by offering their employees family benefits.

“For many employees today, it’s important their employer supports a positive work-family life balance,” he says. “Pinterest is showing its current and future employees that it also values this and is a partner in their path to parenthood, leading to better overall employee retention and happiness.”

Marcia says he expects parental benefits will rise in popularity over the next few years.

“In competitive job markets, it’s essential for companies to offer comprehensive benefits to retain and recruit top talent,” he explains. “HR leaders should definitely consider evaluating their parental benefit offerings and look to Pinterest as a standard to strive for.”
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