Survey finds 79% of workplaces do not have adequate employee fertility supports in place
This is shocking.
A new survey carried out by Sims IVF has identified that 79 per cent of respondents do not feel adequately supported in their workplace when undergoing fertility treatment.
Of this number, 30 per cent of respondents reported that their workplace has no supports in place and that fertility is not an encouraged topic of conversation amongst colleagues and management.
Concerningly, an additional 32 per cent of employees have no knowledge of the supports available to them from their employer.
The survey also found that when asked 35 pe rcent of employees indicated they would not tell their boss or manager if they were undergoing fertility treatment or planning to start a family.
The respondents, who were primarily female (97 per cent), reported being hesitant to approach their male managers, having a fear of stigma and concerns over the potential impact on promotion and career progression.
Speaking about the findings of the survey Mikey O’Brien, Group Director of Nursing and Clinical Services at Sims IVF, said:
“While there has been an increase in the public conversation about fertility through the media and on social media, in many cases individuals and couples are still reluctant to speak to their employers and colleagues about their fertility journey. Open conversations about fertility should be encouraged in the workplace and these survey results show there is a need for better communication from management and HR about workplace policies supporting and facilitating treatment.”
When asked about how employers and managers could better support their employees, survey respondents highlighted the need for additional fertility-related leave.
Additionally, employees advocated for the need for open discussions regarding fertility at work and increased communication from management and HR about the existing supports in place.
The survey was carried out by Sims online in March 2021, found that out of its 866 respondents to the survey, many found lockdown to have helped when going to medical appointments.
45 per cent of survey respondents find it easier to attend fertility appointments due to remote working during the Covid-19 pandemic, due to flexibility arranging appointments and less time spent commuting.