In the hope of keeping their young female employees in the workforce, American companies Apple and Facebook are offering to pay for them to have their eggs frozen.
From January 2015, Apple has announced it will pay both full-time and part-time female employees up to US$20,000.00 (AU$22,953.00) to have their eggs frozen and an additional US$500.00 per month for storage costs.
NBC News reported on Tuesday that Facebook recently began covering egg-freezing for non-medical reasons, making it one of the first major employers in the technology sector to do so.
Egg freezing is a pricey but increasingly popular option for women who struggle with infertility. It enables women to delay child bearing and is often used by women who have to undergo medical treatments that interfere with fertility such as chemotherapy.
Some women, however, are concerned that the offer will encourage women to delay child bearing to benefit their careers only to encounter difficulties during pregnancy at a later age.
Apple has said in a statement “We want to empower women at Apple to do the best work of their lives as they care for loved ones and raise their families” but social commentators are questioning whether this incentive crosses a line and in effect provides employers with too much control over the lives of their female employees.
It remains to be seen whether the offer will be available to Australian employees of these organisations in 2015.
If you have a question regarding employment law or your rights at work, contact Peter Moore at Brazel Moore Lawyerson (02) 4324 7699.