A third (33%) of employers think there is insufficient support in employee benefits for the LGBTQ+ community, according to new research from Peppy, the digital health platform.
Sixty-three per cent of employers think that it can be hard to get senior management to buy in to benefits that do not support the majority of employees, but 34% strongly agree that employee benefits play a key role in fostering diversity and inclusion within the workplace. In fact, two thirds (65%) believe that besides the moral and societal imperative, there is a strong business case to provide employee benefits that demonstrate diversity and inclusion.
Sixty-four percent of employers say they regularly engage with their employees about which employee benefits might be beneficial to specific employee groups or demographics, and 62% of employers believe they must actively seek employee benefits for minority groups within the workplace to demonstrate their diversity and inclusion. However, 65% say their organisation does not have employee benefits for specific minority groups, as they believe their benefits are broad enough to support all their employees.
Dr Mridula Pore, CEO of Peppy said: “It’s important to bear in mind that not everyone in minority groups or the LGBTQ+ community wants their private life to be known within the workplace, and some employees will be on a journey to determine their own identity. With this in mind, it’s important not to label certain benefits as only being appropriate for certain employees as this could prevent people from accessing help when they most need it.
“Not all employee benefits may meet the needs of the LGBTQ+ community but many will, whilst also offering comprehensive support to the wider employee community too. Employers need to be selective about which employee benefits providers they choose to partner with and should raise the issue of support for different minority communities when looking at who to work with.”
Three out of five (60%) employers say their organisation’s diversity and inclusion policy makes reference to the specific employee benefits that it offers for minority groups, which shows that many employers are thinking about ways to integrate and embed support into day-to-day operations.
Dr Mridula Pore said: “It’s great to see that organisations are joining the dots between their policies for minority groups and the benefits that they offer – this is really switched-on thinking and shows that an increasing number of employers are embedding D&I in to the fabric of their organisations.”
Fertility support for LGBTQ+
One of the areas in which the LGBTQ+ community can feel very isolated is that of fertility. Deciding to start a family can involve complex fertility treatments including donor sperm, donor eggs, surrogacy or adoption and is often a tremendous strain financially, legally and emotionally. While these areas can also be an issue for heterosexual couples, there are additional complications for LGBTQ+ people so it’s really important for employers to be aware of the challenges this group faces and ensure that they offer relevant support. Bespoke support from specialist clinical experts is a great benefit and confidentiality is a must.
Dr Mridula Pore said: “It’s vitally important that employers select benefits that are appropriate for everyone but with sufficient breadth and depth to meet the needs of every individual.”