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A new report from the CIPD finds 19% of employees facing fertility issues have considered leaving their workplace due to lack of support.
A fifth of people experiencing fertility challenges have considered leaving work due to their experience in work while undergoing fertility treatment or investigations, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development.
Its Workplace Support for Fertility Challenges report found that nearly half of employees (47%) didn’t tell their manager or HR about their treatment or investigations, with 26% concerned about the possible impact on their career and 19% worried their employer wouldn’t be understanding or offer support.
In response, the CIPD is calling for organisations to offer practical support, such as offering paid time off for appointments, flexible working options and training for managers so they can support staff with sensitive issues and create understanding environments where people can seek support.
Infertility affects one in eight couples in the UK, yet the survey found 40% of employers don’t have a formal policy on fertility treatment and have no intention of introducing one. Only 22% of employers offer paid time off to attend appointments and manage the demands of fertility treatment, despite 40% of employees saying this form of support was or would have been most helpful with their experience of fertility challenges, investigations or treatment. 64% of employees who didn’t feel supported at work felt that support from their employer would have been beneficial to them while undergoing fertility treatment or investigations.
Rachel Suff, Senior Policy Advisor at the CIPD, said: “Fertility challenges can feel like a very sensitive and difficult topic to discuss but the onus is on employers to create a compassionate and supportive culture so that people can share their experience and seek support if they want to. By providing a framework of support, employers will also benefit in terms of enhanced loyalty and staff retention.”