Hopeful Parents Might Soon Get Paid Time Off For IVF. Here’s Why They Need It

Employees undergoing fertility treatment could soon be entitled to statutory time off work, according to a proposed law before Parliament.

The law suggests that fertility appointments should be treated the same as prenatal appointments during pregnancy.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have already recently granted around 8,000 of their staff the right to three days off a year specifically for fertility treatment, reports The Mail on Sunday. (Though it’s worth noting that free IVF treatment within the NHS has been severely curtailed in recent years.)

Under the latest bill, proposed by Tory MP Nickie Aiken, all companies would have to give both women and their partners time off for fertility treatments. It is hoped the change will help those who may currently be going through multiple rounds of harsh IVF treatments in secret.

“It’s very difficult to be undergoing treatment and juggling a career at the same time,” Aiken said. “A lot of people feel like they can’t tell their employer for fear of being overlooked for a promotion or being fired.”

Why is this new proposed law so important for hopeful parents?

Becky Kearns, co-founder of Fertility Matters At Work, tells HuffPost UK that this law may be game-changing because it gives people “Permission to discuss treatment with their employer (if they choose) rather than feeling like they have to hide it”.

“We know from our research that 61.1% didn’t feel confident talking to their employer about trying to have a baby,” she explains.

Many fear that asking for time off to attend appointments will affect their careers, and a law that gives them a legal right and protection from unfair treatment will help them know that this is their responsibility employer is recognised.”

She adds that IVF is often seen as a “lifestyle choice” rather than a treatment for a medical problem – although the World Health Organization refers to infertility as a “disease of the reproductive system”. The proposed law would help right this wrong. Hopeful Parents Might Soon Get Paid Time Off For IVF. Here’s Why They Need It

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