Cisco US employees to be funded for egg and embryo harvesting

Cisco US

Technology organisation Cisco has announced the launch of a new range of health benefits for its US employees, including reimbursement for workers who want to harvest or store eggs, sperm and embryos.

The family support reimbursement programme, beginning from 1 January 2019, will also include support for services to facilitate pregnancy, such as IVF. Cisco, which has 38,000 employees in the US, will reimburse the cost of harvesting, storage and pregnancy services up to $20,000 (£15,258.10), providing the employee is enrolled in one of the organisation’s medical plans.

The reimbursement is available to employees regardless of their situation, including same-sex relationships or those without a partner.

Under the new family support programme, the organisation is also doubling the amount of reimbursement available for adoption and surrogacy from $10,000 (£7,629.05) to $20,000 (£15342.70). US employees are also offered unlimited time off to deal with adoption matters.

In addition, Cisco is providing genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer for employees and dependants covered on its self-insured medical plans, even if deemed not medically necessary.

Details of the new support measures are being outlined for employees in a benefits enrolment guide, sent to staff member’s homes. Information is also being shared via a number of webinars, and benefits specialists will communicate with employees at health fairs on the organisation’s largest campuses.

Karen Weins, Cisco HR director, US health and wellness strategy, said: “Rooted in Cisco’s people deal, the promise the company makes to its employees and what Cisco asks in return, these new benefits reflect Cisco’s continued commitment to support employee wellbeing and diversity while making a meaningful difference in the moments that matter most.”