Should employer’s have a policy in place regarding fertility treatment?

June 16th 2023

According to a survey report by CIPD dated May 2023, around 1 in 7 couples in the UK may have difficulty conceiving and there is an opportunity to improve the experiences in the workplace when employees are experiencing such issues. With this in mind, the CIPD have published a Guide for employers to offer workplace support for individuals experiencing fertility challenges. One of their suggestions is to develop a policy or a plan regarding this.  Key findings in its report on employer provision and employee experiences were that:-

  • “Just over a quarter (27%) of employers have a policy in place concerning fertility treatment, while 40% don’t have a formal policy and don’t plan to introduce one. 
  • 46% of employees said they felt neither supported or unsupported at work while having fertility challenges. Just under a fifth said they felt quite or very unsupported.
  • Almost half of employees (47%) didn’t tell their manager or HR they were experiencing fertility challenges. 
  • Over half of organisations (56%) providing some kind of support had not their told employees about it. 
  • The top three most helpful forms of support reported by employees were paid time off to attend appointments; understanding from managers; and paid compassionate leave”.

Their report is based on the findings in two surveys carried out in 2022 and the Guide includes principles of good practice which can be adapted for employers of all sizes. 

Please do contact us for advice in this area including in relation to drafting a formal policy.

Please also see the Guide

Fertility challenges, investigations and treatment: Guide to offering workplace support A guide for people professionals to provide effective support