Blog > The Importance of Fertility Leave in the Workplace

The Importance of Fertility Leave in the Workplace

Millions of people worldwide face fertility challenges which can take a significant emotional, physical, and financial toll. Supporting fertility in the workplace can help improve outcomes for your employees and empower them to thrive in their careers while navigating their family-building journeys.

Written by Apricity Team

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    In today's rapidly evolving corporate landscape, employee wellbeing has shifted from traditional benefits such as health and dental insurance to a focus on addressing modern demands on physical and mental health. Fertility benefits, which involve both sides of the coin, have emerged as a hot topic.

    The decision to undergo fertility treatment is often fraught with emotional, physical, and logistical challenges. Balancing doctor's appointments, medical procedures, and the emotional rollercoaster of the fertility journey can be overwhelming, especially when combined with the demands of a full-time job.

    Many people choose not to tell their employers that they are undergoing fertility treatment, or trying to conceive in the first place, as they fear it may hurt their career prospects. This can force honest people to have to cover up their absence with their manager, which adds another layer of stress.

    The dangers of not offering paid fertility leave

    Recent research we conducted at Apricity reveals the critical need for comprehensive fertility support in the workplace. We found that 61% of respondents expect their employer to cover the cost of their treatment, either in full or partially, but only 17% of UK employers currently offer this health benefit, while 82% would only consider working for an employer that offered fertility benefits if they were looking to do IVF again.

    Navigating fertility treatments affects not only emotional and physical well-being but productivity and career trajectory. Our research showed that 50% said they found IVF just as, if not more, stressful than the bereavement of a close loved one, while 62% said it would be worse than losing their job. And more than one in three (38%) had to take time off for IVF under annual leave.

    How to implement fertility leave at work 

    Here are nine tips to help you write your new fertility policy (from our partner Fertility Matters at Work):

    1. Make the policy easy to find and explicit

    2. Ensure it is inclusive for the LGBTQ+ community and single parents

    3. Make it clear to staff that they can talk about fertility issues at work

    4. Ensure managers know what is involved with fertility treatment 

    5. Recognise there will be need for paid time off

    6. Make flexible working options available 

    7. Reassure staff that your company is aware of the mental health implications

    8. Signpost to other related benefits your company offers (eg. mental health support)

    9. Signpost to external resources that specialise in fertility issues

    Other ways to support employees with the benefits you offer

    As well as offering paid leave for fertility treatment, here are some other ways to support people undergoing fertility journeys:

    • Creating a culture of empathy and understanding where employees feel comfortable discussing their fertility challenges without fear of judgment.

    • Making accommodations to work responsibilities or workload to alleviate stress and support employees during their fertility journey.

    • Allowing flexibility in working hours and location to accommodate medical appointments and treatment schedules.

    • Offering access to counselling services to provide emotional support and guidance throughout the fertility process or any other mental health journey.

    • Directing employees to a curated and thoroughly researched list of external organisations and resources for additional support and information.

    • Providing financial assistance toward the cost of fertility treatment, alleviating some of the financial burden associated with fertility care.

    To find out more about our fertility benefits for organisations like yours, please book a call with our team here

    Written by Apricity Team

    Helping you stay informed

    Written by our group of fertility experts and doctors consultants

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