New CIPD guidance on supporting employees experiencing fertility issues

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has issued a report which provides guidance on supporting employees who are experiencing fertility issues. The report surveyed 300 workers who experienced difficulties with fertility while in employment within the last five years, as well as over 2,000 senior HR professionals and decision makers.

Whilst it is encouraging to see an increased focus in this area, the report findings highlight that there is still a long way to go to improve support for employees experiencing fertility issues. In particular, the report states that:

  • almost one in five workers experiencing challenges with fertility have considered leaving work due to their experiences;
  • 47% of employee respondents did not tell their manager or HR about their difficulties or their ongoing fertility treatment – with 26% stating that this was because they were concerned about the impact on their career; and
  • 40% of employers don’t have a formal policy on fertility treatment and nor do they have any plans to introduce one.

Despite these statistics, it is acknowledged that there is a real opportunity here for progressive change. To promote this, the report also outlines good practice principles for workplace support in this area, including:

  • developing an organisational framework to support employees, including the implementation of specific policy provision;
  • creating an open, inclusive and supportive culture within the working environment;
  • managing absences and leave with flexibility and compassion whilst also considering the potential impacts of fertility challenges on both partners; and
  • equipping line managers to support employees with sensitivity and understanding.

It is hoped that raising awareness will cause employers to take note and ensure that this issue does not continue to be overlooked. The findings also demonstrate that there are opportunities for employers to add to their employee wellbeing and diversity and inclusion strategies which will in turn help employers stand out in the market. Employers who do not take this opportunity may fall behind in being seen as an employer of choice.

For more detail on how employers can support employees undergoing fertility treatment, please see our recent article on the topic.

Around one in seven couples in the UK may have difficulty conceiving.



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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