May 15, 2023
Fifth of people with fertility issues have considered leaving work as a result
New research from the CIPD suggests there is a significant gap in workplace support for people experiencing fertility issues. Nearly one in five (19 percent) people affected said they had considered leaving their job due to their experience at work while undergoing fertility challenges, investigations or treatment. The CIPD’s accompanying guidance for employers, workplace support for employees experiencing fertility challenges, investigations and treatment, suggests that managing the health impacts of it alongside employment can be extremely difficult without an understanding employer.
Just under half of employees (47 percent) didn’t tell their manager or HR about their treatment or investigations, with 26 percent concerned about the possible impact on their career and 19 percent worried their employer wouldn’t be understanding or offer support. In response, the CIPD is calling for organisations to offer practical support, such as offering paid time off for appointments, flexible working options and training for managers so they can support staff with sensitive issues and create understanding environments where people can seek support.
The CIPD found that almost half (49 percent) of employers report providing some kind of support for employees pursuing fertility treatment, with flexible working to accommodate fertility treatment being the most common kind of support (27 percent of those providing support).
- Almost a fifth (19 percent) of employees with experience of fertility issues considered leaving their job due to their experience in work
- 40 percent of employers don’t have a formal policy on fertility treatment and have no intention of introducing one
- Only 22 percent of employers offer paid time off to attend appointments and manage the demands of fertility treatment, despite 40 percent of employees saying this form of support was or would have been most helpful with their experience of fertility challenges, investigations or treatment
- 64 percent of employees with experience of fertility issues/challenges who didn’t feel supported at work felt that support from their employer would have been beneficial to them
Overall, the CIPD’s research shows that there’s an opportunity for employers to make a big difference to how people cope at a difficult time.