IVF My Rights AT Work
IVF My Rights AT Work
Starting a family is a daunting process and, unfortunately, not everyone will have a straightforward time getting pregnant. Some couples and individuals will need to embark upon IVF treatment which is likely to be an incredibly stressful and emotional experience. Whilst navigating all the requirements of the treatment, you might need to understand how it fits in with work and what your rights are.
Time off for treatment
Employers do not have to give you time off work for any IVF investigations or treatments so you may want to consider discussing with your employer what your plans are and how you can take the time off. Alternatively, if you would prefer your employer did not know your plans, you may need to consider whether you can book time off as annual leave or as time off for medical appointments.
At the point of embryo transfer, you are legally regarded as pregnant and you could inform your employer to ensure you are protected against unfair treatment. This is the protected period. You would then need to confirm your pregnancy, in which case your protection continues, or let your employer know that it has been unsuccessful, in which case your protected period ends two weeks after the negative test or finding that you are not pregnant.
Sometimes the treatment may cause you to be unfit for work through sickness. If this is the case, your absences should be treated the same as normal sickness absence in terms of notifying your employer and any company or statutory sick pay. You will either need to self-certify for up to a week or be covered by a GP fit note.
If your absences arise during the protected period, employers should not consider absences related to your IVF treatment or pregnancy as triggers for any absence management or disciplinary procedure. Absences related to IVF treatment during the protected period, and those related to pregnancy, should be kept separate to other types of sickness absence.
If your treatment is successful, you will be protected under the Equality Act 2010 and any discrimination by your employer on grounds of your pregnancy will be unlawful.
For more advice on your rights at work, please contact Farleys Solicitors. Farleys have a specialist team of employment lawyers who can help you if you feel that you may have been treated unfairly during the course of a pregnancy or maternity leave.
IVF my rights at work Feb 2020