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CIPD publishes report on supporting employees experiencing fertility issues

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead Burton

The CIPD has published a report on workplace support for employees experiencing fertility challenges, investigations or treatment. Fertility issues are not widely discussed – in society or the workplace – and relatively few organisations have policies or guidance in place to support people having treatment.

Just over a quarter (27%) of the 2,023 employers surveyed had either a standalone policy or include provision as part of a wider policy. The CIPD wants to help bridge this gap by encouraging organisations to view fertility as an important workplace wellbeing issue and by providing practical guidance about the support employers can put in place.

It can be a long and uncertain road for employees experiencing difficulties conceiving, trying to have or grow a family. It is often emotionally draining, socially challenging and financially tough. There can be significant impacts on mental and physical health. Managing these impacts alongside employment can be extremely difficult without an understanding employer. Given that the majority of people wanting to start or grow a family are of working age, it’s safe to assume that it’s typically people who are in employment who are affected.

The guide will help people professionals develop effective support for employees experiencing fertility challenges, investigations or treatment. It aims to provide knowledge and practical guidance to help employers and people professionals develop ‘fertility friendly’ organisations.

Organisation should aim to:

  • Create an open, inclusive and supportive culture
  • Develop a framework to support employees
  • Manage absence and leave with compassion and flexibility
  • Promote good people management

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