Employers back Fertility Workplace Pledge

A number of employers have signed up to a new pledge to support employees going through fertility treatment.



Major UK employers, including Metro Bank, NatWest Group, Co-op, Channel 4 and UK Hospitality have signed up to a Fertility Workplace Pledge designed to benefit millions of individuals and couples going through fertility treatment.

Nickie Aiken MP, who put forward a Private Member’s Bill to improve support for employees going through fertility treatment, has joined forces with national charities and organisations to launch the Pledge.  She says 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Awareness in the workplace: Establishing the role of Fertility Ambassador to open conversations internally and make people aware of available support.
  3. 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.
  4. 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: NatWest Group, Metro Bank, Co-op, Channel 4, Zurich Insurance, UK Hospitality, Cadent, Fertility Network UK and Fertility Matters at Work as well a range of law firms, recruiters and events companies.

Launching the Pledge during National Fertility Awareness Week, Aitken said: “Fertility treatment affects millions of people from all ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. It is emotionally draining, costly, risky and a long process.

“Undergoing treatment while juggling a career is very tough. Many people feel they cannot tell their employer for fear of being overlooked for a promotion or being made redundant. The number of people hiding it from their employer and taking sick leave is shockingly high. It’s no wonder more than a third have considered quitting their job.

“This must change. Individuals and couples need the right to attend fertility appointments no matter where they work, without fear of being negatively impacted in their career. My Private Members Bill – the Fertility Treatment (Employment Rights) Bill – sets out to give individuals and couples the right to take the time off for fertility treatment, just like they would have for antenatal appointments.”

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