Fertility Workplace Pledge

With an estimated 3.5 million people suffering from fertility issues in the UK, and with fertility treatment involving an emotionally draining not to mention a long, costly and risky process, it is unsurprising that Nickie Aiken MP has begun a campaign for change and better employment rights for individuals and couples undergoing fertility treatment.

Ms Aiken’s Private Member’s Bill, Fertility Treatment (Employment Rights) Bill, provides as a statutory right time off work for individuals and couples undergoing fertility treatment. Alongside the Bill, she has also launched the Fertility Workplace Pledge which has already garnered the attention of several large UK employers, boasting household names such as Channel 4 and Natwest amongst her signatories.

Recognising that juggling treatment and work can be very difficult, the Pledge consists of four steps that employers are encouraged to sign up to:

  1. Having accessible information within the workplace such as a fertility policy, to create an open culture free from stigma where employees understand the support available.
  2. Raising awareness in the workplace by establishing the role of Fertility Ambassador, being individuals who can highlight the support available and initiate conversations.
  3. Ensuring managers are trained to effectively support their staff and understand the fertility treatment process and resulting impact.
  4. Allowing employees the right to request flexible working and reasonable adjustments if undergoing fertility treatment.

The initiative seeks to address the difficulties faced by individuals and couples in the workplace when undergoing fertility treatment. It can be an extremely challenging time and with few rights in law at present, many people fear telling their employer about their struggles would be career limiting, which adds to the burden and stress they are already experiencing. Ms Aiken’s efforts could be the catalyst that drives much needed recognition and resulting change in this area. It is hoped that more organisations will sign up to the Pledge in support.


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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