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A leading fertility clinic is calling for greater support in the workplace for people who are undergoing fertility treatment or who are involuntarily childless.
As part of Fertility Awareness Week, Harley Street Fertility Clinic is drawing attention to the issues fertility patients face at work.
It says fertility treatment is still very much a grey area for employers who “are often out of touch and do not have the same clear guidelines as health matters such as long-term sickness and maternity leave”.
It is highlighting in particular the need for more open lines of communication, better support and greater understanding of the implications fertility issues can have on both male and female employees and adds that an open-door policy can help with planning and ease worries.
Dr Suvir Venkataraman, General Manager at the Clinic, said: “Trying to get pregnant using fertility treatments can be extremely stressful and time consuming, and the more supportive employers are, the better…
“Time off for appointments, more flexible working patterns or sensitivity to birth announcements, might seem small, but these considerations can make a massive difference to employees who are either having fertility treatment or coming to terms with infertility. An open-door policy and knowing that being able to talk to managers and HR personnel about issues, time off and concerns without the need to be embarrassed or fear disciplinary action is important too. We hope that in time, fertility at work will be acknowledge and all companies will have the appropriate plans in place to ensure people no longer feel ashamed, alone or upset when they are at work.”
*Picture credit: Human ovarian follicle by Jpogi at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.