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Published: 26 Jun 2024

BNP Paribas – Winner 2024, Supporting Different Pathways to Parenthood, sponsored by Adoption UK

BNP Paribas are taking impressive steps to recognise the importance of the journey to parenthood and the challenges many face, and are helping to alleviate some of the impact on mental and physical health, and family finances. 

Adoption and surrogacy 

A dedicated adoption and surrogacy policy provides guidance to employees on parental leave allowance and what support they can expect. Pay is enhanced to match the primary care giver/maternity leave, as are supplementary benefits such as Keep in Touch Days and return to work coaching. Any child born adopted or born through surrogacy receives full medical insurance coverage. 

Fertility and loss 

A Baby Loss policy includes paid leave in the event of loss of a baby alongside guidance and support available to help navigate this extremely distressing and unique life event. Under the fertility policy, additional paid leave is available for receiving or recovering from fertility treatment, to attend associated appointments, or support a partner who is undergoing fertility treatment. These can be taken as full days or half days, and can be taken as annual leave and reassigned by HR to maintain privacy. In the last year, 14 employees took a total of 28 full days of fertility related paid leave. 

Employees can access professional advice and financial support of up to £20,000 towards fertility treatment with zero co-pay, used by 70 employees in the past year. Cover includes infertility investigation, fertility treatment and cryopreservation, and storage of egg, ovary, or testicular tissues. Employees with certain conditions including endometriosis can access this benefit for future parenthood planning.  

Additional support 

Peer support meetups are arranged by the Parent and Carers network, alongside events with specialist speakers. The Parents and Carers network alongside the Health and Wellbeing team host targeted events and publicity campaigns throughout the year to heighten awareness around fertility, and the support available. In the last year over 200 employees attended one or more of 50 events focused on fertility and the journey to parenthood. Access to cognitive behavioural therapy and a free counselling hotline is available to all employees. There are trained pre and post-natal exercise specialists on site to provide programmes and one-to-one training. Nutritionist support is available before conception, during pregnancy and postnatally.  

A company-funded app gives employees and partners access to instant messaging with expert practitioners, moderated group chat, one-to-one video appointments, mental wellbeing support, and a digital hub of expert-led content includes live events, webinars and support groups. Return to work coaching includes specialist advice on returning post-baby-loss. 

Usage of existing policies is tracked and feedback from events and meet-ups is measured to see where the highest demand is, in order to make improvements and drive future policy priorities.