More guidance published on fertility at work

On 14 September 2023, the Fawcett Society published guidance on fertility at work. The guide, aimed at employers, was created in partnership with TotalJobs.

Some key findings published in the guidance include:

  • 4 in 5 women think it is important to facilitate open and safe conversations around fertility in the workplace
  • 68% of employees who went through fertility treatment did not tell their HR department and 59% did not tell their manager
  • 43% of employees who went through fertility treatment were faced with negative comments from colleagues about their infertility

The guidance highlights the benefits for employers in adopting a fertility friendly workplace. These include increased retention, improved absence manager and engagement from employees.

The guidance also includes some recommendations for employers to consider:

  • Employers should look at upskilling and training their managers so they feel confident and comfortable to have open discussions with their teams.
  • Putting the employer’s approach around this topic in print as a standalone policy. This should include provisions around confidentiality, employees’ entitlements to leave whether they are the person undergoing treatment or supporting a partner or family member and set out a clear process for how an employee can request leave for fertility treatment.
  • Make it clear in job adverts what fertility related benefits the employer offers.
  • Review and update as necessary the wellbeing resources and initiatives in place and consider whether any specific ones for employees experiences infertility need to be added.

Most people discover they need fertility treatment while employed. But balancing fertility with work, whilst navigating everything that comes with a personal fertility journey, can prove incredibly challenging. With professional and personal elements at play, many people find their engagement at work, development opportunities, and wellbeing slipping.


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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