Major UK employers including Metro Bank, NatWest Group, Co-op, Channel 4, and UK Hospitality have signed up to a set of simple and voluntary commitments, designed to benefit millions of individuals and couples going through fertility treatment.
Nickie Aiken MP has joined forces with national charities and organisations to write and launch the landmark “Fertility Workplace Pledge” — it comes as 3.5 million people in the UK are struggling to conceive naturally[i], and treatment such as IVF is emotionally draining, costly, there are risks of complications, and it can be a long process.
Juggling treatment and work is very tough. Many people are forced to deal with the side effects, risk of complications, and day-to-day practicalities in silence. They feel they cannot tell their employer for fear of being overlooked for promotion, having major projects taken off them, or being made redundant. Figures show that more than a third (36%) of people going through treatment have considered quitting their job.
The Fertility Workplace Pledge consists of four steps for employers to sign up to:
- Accessible information: Having an accessible workplace fertility policy to create an open culture free from stigma; to make sure employees feel comfortable in the workplace; and to prevent the best talent from leaving.
- Awareness in the workplace: Establishing the role of Fertility Ambassador to open conversations internally and make people aware of available support.
- Staff training: Making sure line managers understand the realities of treatment for employees including the physical, mental, and financial impact — and how they can support someone going through it.
- Flexible working: Giving the right for employees to request flexible working, including reasonable working adjustments, so they can attend appointments.
Organisations that have already signed up include Aldi, Cadent, Channel 4, Co-op, Fertility Matters at Work, Fertility Network UK, Metro Bank, NatWest Group, UK Hospitality, and Zurich Insurance, as well a range of law firms, recruiters, and events companies.
Want to be a fertility-friendly employer? After you sign up by emailing Nickie at email@example.com, the next step is implementing policies in your workplace! Fertility In The Workplace (FITW) can help you!