Leave for fertility treatment
The College recognises the emotional pressure of undergoing IVF treatment and understand the potential anxiety and distress which individuals may suffer during the process. We wish to support members of staff who undertake such treatment themselves or whose partners do so.
Who can take leave for fertility treatment
- If you are receiving fertility treatment and have worked at the College for 12 months or more, you may take up to 5 days paid leave.
- If you are investigating a fertility issue, this will be regarded as sickness absence. See our sickness absence guidance for more information.
- If you are supporting your partner undergoing fertility treatment, you may be eligible to one day's leave to attend a specific appointment.
- Staff who have completed 12 months' service with the College may be granted leave for fertility treatment or the support of a partner undergoing the same.
- If you are not eligible for leave for fertility treatment, you may wish to look into annual leave or unpaid leave as set out under our special leave policy.
Process for requesting leave for fertility treatment
- Let your manager know.
- It is at your manager's discretion to grant leave. We encourage managers to grant this leave or discuss alternatives if necessary.
- Managers may wish to refer staff undergoing the treatment to the Occupational Health team to assist them making their decision.
Staff and manager guidance
For the purposes of leave arrangements, a distinction is drawn between the investigation phase (for example, determining whether there is a disease affecting fertility) and the treatment itself.
The investigation phase
Absence relating to the investigation of a fertility issue will be regarded as sickness absence. In such circumstances, the member of staff will be subject to the College’s normal sickness absence provisions. Members of staff personally undergoing treatment themselves should note that sickness absence associated with IVF will not be regarded as ‘pregnancy-related’.
The fertility phase
Members of staff who have completed 12 months’ service with the College may be granted leave for fertility treatment or the support of a partner undergoing the same.
Staff personally undergoing fertility treatment
Wherever possible, appointments related to fertility treatment should be arranged outside of working hours. Where this is not possible, a member of staff may be granted up to 5 working days of paid leave in any 12 month period for the purpose of receiving and recovering from IVF treatment and to attend appointments specifically associated with the IVF process (i.e. pre-booked interventions for consultant appointments, collection and delivery of eggs, monitoring tests, etc.).
Should the member of staff require time off because of the side effects of the treatment, this will be subject to the College’s normal sickness absence provisions. Sickness absence associated with IVF will not be regarded as ‘pregnancy-related’.
The paid leave can be taken to suit the member of staff’s needs, subject to operational circumstances, e.g. in one block, separate days or half days. The leave entitlement will be pro-rated for part-time members of staff according to their normal weekly working hours.
Members of staff supporting a partner undergoing fertility treatment
If it is an essential requirement within the course of the treatment for the partner to attend a specific appointment, the College will allow eligible employees up to one day’s paid leave in any 12 month period to support fertility treatment.
Eligible staff should request leave from their line manager/supervisor. Managers/supervisors have the discretion to grant this leave, although they may wish to refer a female member of staff who is going to personally undergo fertility treatment for an Occupational Health referral, to assist them with making their decision.
If an employee is not eligible for the leave outlined above, or if they require time off in addition to that above, then alternative leave arrangements should be agreed with their line manager which may, for example, include annual leave or unpaid leave as set out within the Special Leave procedure.