|26th October 2023||Emma Ogden, SUMS Consultant|
This thought piece is based on a personal perspective. It highlights some of the challenges and provides practical advice and guidance on how to support positive fertility in the workplace.
It is thought that around 9 to 15% of people in the UK struggle with natural conception; and treatments such as IVF can be emotionally draining, time-consuming and costly.
Employees often avoid sharing their fertility journey with their employer due to the fear of repercussions, such as being overlooked for promotion or being made redundant. Others do not feel comfortable sharing confidential or sensitive details about their treatment, especially when there is no guarantee of a successful outcome.
- There is beginning to be more openness and transparency about infertility. Influential women are coming forward to discuss their own infertility struggles and there is a rise in private members’ bills on fertility and miscarriage rights, and more charitable organisations providing greater guidance and support
- A new Fertility Workplace Pledge was launched in November 2022, designed to benefit individuals and couples going through fertility treatment. The Pledge forms part of a wider effort to tackle the perceived negative stigma surrounding fertility treatment
- The Women’s Health Strategy, published in July 2022 has awarded £1.97 million to 16 organisations to help support women who experience reproductive health issues in the workplace
- Currently, miscarriages that take place before 24 weeks and ectopic pregnancies do not give rise to statutory pay entitlements. The private members’ bill is seeking to make provision for paid leave for people who have experienced miscarriage.
To read Emma Ogden’s paper in full, download the full Being a fertility-friendly employer paper here.