There are more than 3.5 million people in the UK currently experiencing fertility problems, and the majority of them are in employment.

Our research has shown that most people experiencing fertility problems are reluctant to speak to their employer about it because they fear it may have a detrimental effect on their career. We know that some end up reducing their hours or leaving employment entirely as a result of their fertility problems.

This can be a challenge for employers both operationally and financially, and this is why so many companies have used our Fertility in the Workplace initiative to ensure staff feel supported and employers can get the best from them in difficult circumstances.

We first started working to educate employers about fertility issues on an informal basis in the early 2000s, but it was our work with Unison in Scotland in 2014 which ensured the project really took off when we worked together on a fertility policy which was implemented across all 32 local authorities there.

Now, our Fertility in the Workplace initiative is thriving and we work with leading companies, trades unions and charities across the UK with an established training scheme and ongoing support services.

We believe it is essential that employers support staff facing fertility challenges and that doing this will be good for business as well as for employees. We’ve worked with the likes of Tesco, Lloyds, LinkedIn and  Autotrader as well as a huge range of smaller employers to help them to get the best from their staff.

Our Fertility in the Workplace initiative can help you to implement a fertility policy and will ensure your staff and managers understand the impact of fertility and treatment so they can support those around them.  As the national charity offering support, we provide a unique service bringing our experience and expertise in the field to the table, and offering our ongoing support package to employees to ensure that no one experiencing fertility problems ever needs to feel alone.

 Packages

 Lunch and Learn Session

This informal session helps to raise the general awareness of infertility.  This introduction allows individuals to support co-workers, friends and family who may be facing difficulties trying to conceive.

Fertility Policy Consultation

Our in-house experts will support your team to introduce or review an existing policy to make sure that your company is best able to support your employees with a minimum impact to them and their co-workers.

Fertility in the Workplace Workshop – 10 delegates

A half day training session facilitated by our expert trainers for employers and managers to gain an in depth understanding of the reality of fertility treatment and the impacts thereof.  This session will prove invaluable when managing and supporting individuals facing infertility

If you would like further information about Fertility in the Workplace please contact office@fertilitynetworkuk.org

Did you know?

If fertility treatment is successful, maternity rights and protection continue from the date of embryo transfer until the end of a woman’s maternity leave. If fertility treatment is not successful, maternity rights and protection apply from the date of embryo transfer and then for a further two weeks after a negative test (which is typically taken two weeks after embryo transfer/implantation)

Click here to watch our Workplace Webinar

Fertility Network UK workplace surveys

Fertility Network’s 2021 survey looking at the mental health impact of fertility treatment on workplace performance and job satisfaction found:

  • Over one-third (38%) of employees undergoing fertility treatment considered leaving their jobs
  • Over half (56%) experienced decreased job satisfaction while trying to conceive
  • One-third (36%) had to take increased sickness absence,
  • Two-thirds (63%) of respondents reported reduced engagement at work
  • 1 in 5 people (20% did not inform their employer about having fertility treatment and
  • Nearly two-thirds (60%) of people felt the need to hide the real reason for time taken off for appointments and fertility-related illness.

Further info at: https://fertilitynetworkuk.org/over-one-third-of-employees-undergoing-fertility-treatment-consider-leaving-their-jobs/

 Fertility Network’s 2017 survey of male fertility patients found 93% of respondents well-being was affected, with two-thirds (69%) feeling it had affected their work.

Full report at http://fertilitynetworkuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Report-on-Male-Fertility-Survey.pdf

Fertility Network’s 2016 survey looking at the impact of fertility treatment highlighted 90% of respondents felt depressed and 42% felt suicidal, and revealed:

  • 1 in 5 employees (19%) had to reduce their work hours or quit their job because of the stresses of fertility treatment.
  • The majority of workplaces (77%) did not have a workplace policy relating to fertility treatment. Respondents were more distressed during treatment if there was no workplace fertility policy in place. Respondents who received support from their employers also reported lower levels of distress and less frequent suicidal feelings
  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents (59%) felt their employer would benefit from education/support to help them better understand the needs of someone having treatment.
  • Approaching one-third of employees (30%) did not tell their employer or colleagues about their fertility treatment. The main reason for non-disclosure was a desire for privacy and the fear their employer would not understand. Other reasons included fear of career consequences (45%) and stigma of infertility (46%). The main reason for employees disclosing to their employer that they were having fertility treatment was necessity in order to request time off work.
  • 50% of respondents needed more than a week off work during a treatment cycle; the average number of days taken off work during a treatment cycle was 8.74.
  • Overall, 50% of respondent were concerned treatment would affect their career prospects, and one-third (33%) felt their career was damaged as a result of treatment.

Full survey at http://fertilitynetworkuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/SURVEY-RESULTS-Impact-of-Fertility-Problems.pdf