1 in 6 of us worldwide are currently experiencing fertility problems, and many of us are in employment.

The issue of fertility health is sadly neglected in the UK – despite the fact that most people consider having children as the most important decision of their lives. Infertility is recognised by the World Health organisation as a disease of the reproductive system and should be handled at work in the same way as any other health condition.

Our research has shown that most people experiencing fertility problems are reluctant to speak to their employer, because they fear it may have a detrimental effect on their career. We know it is not uncommon for staff to end up reducing their hours or quitting their job if they are unable to balance work and fertility issues. This can be a challenge for employers both operationally and financially, and why a growing number of firms now have a fertility policy in place outlining the help available – they appreciate a supportive workplace is good for business as well as for employees.

Over the years at Fertility Network, we have conducted ground-breaking surveys looking at the emotional impact of infertility. Our 2022 Middlesex survey is currently being revisited and provides a key overview of the impact. Most people describe a reduction in workplace engagement because of the demands of treatment.

At Fertility In The Workplace, we can provide free support to employers, employees and business owners working in small to medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as self-employed women and those looking to return to work.

Thanks to VCSE Health and Wellbeing Fund, part of a partnership programme between Department of Health & Social Care, NHS England, and UK Health Security Agency, Fertility In The Workplace (FITW) are delighted to be able to offer free education and support packages to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), self employed and unemployed women across England.

This program works alongside the recent Women’s Health Strategy for England, which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of women, and help to support them remain in work and return to work.

Fertility Network UK is the UK’s leading patient-led charity, supporting people facing fertility struggles. Fertility In The Workplace aims to help employers better understand what this entails for employees, as well as their colleagues, to enable them to provide much needed understanding and support.

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