Navigating fertility at work

Posted on October 25th, 2023

The Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights at work, at home and in public life, has collaborated with Totaljobs to produce a guide on navigating fertility in the workplace.

Key findings include that 77% of employers have struggled to implement fertility support. 68% of workers who went through fertility treatment didn’t tell HR, and 59% didn’t tell their manager. 92% of workers had to take time off for treatment, with some taking sick leave or unpaid leave. The findings highlighted a ‘practical need for formal time off, reasonable adjustments to work and flexibility to give staff the time they need for necessary appointments and recovery’.

The guidance includes employer recommendations such as:

  • A written fertility policy or guidance.
  • Offer paid leave for appointments, flexible working, or sick leave (recorded separately so as not to trigger management processes).
  • Mental health support.
  • Ensuring an easy and accessible path to requesting fertility leave.
  • Ensuring confidentiality.
  • Using inclusive language.
  • Offer training to managers.
  • Offer sensitive wellbeing initiatives that are specific to those experiencing infertility.
  • Sensitively and anonymously collect feedback from staff to constantly improve processes and policy.
  • Offer flexible working.
  • Supporting wider discussions around fertility at work.

A link to the guidance from the Fawcett Society can be found at Paths to parenthood: navigating fertility at work.

Need support with your HR?

Our support means you can focus on education, while we take care of your organisation’s HR needs.

We have a wide range of HR services for schools to choose from, offering complete flexibility for your school. Get in touch for a free consultation about how we can help you.

The pre-maternity section of our CEFMi website contains model policies and related model forms and letters. Get a free trial of CEFMi – a comprehensive resource for school managers containing over 7,000 pages of text, including over 170 policies written specifically for schools.