Metro Bank, NatWest and Hospitality UK among top employers to back fertility pledge
Metro Bank, NatWest, the Co-op, Channel 4, and UK Hospitality are among major employers backing a pledge to help millions going through fertility treatment.
A new campaign launched today in Parliament by the MP for Cities of London and Westminster, Nickie Aiken, hopes to support more than 3.5m people who can’t conceive naturally.
The Fertility Workplace Pledge is a bid to support the millions of families going through treatments like IVF, which is a long, complicated and often draining process.
It consists of four steps for employers, including accessible information about fertility, awareness in the workplace, staff training and more flexible working.
With a “substantial number going through treatment” being of working age, the pledge has been backed by key employers ranging from banks, to supermarkets and charities.
Speaking before the Parliamentary launch of the pledge today, Nickie Aiken MP thanked key employers for “leading the way and signing up to a very important set of commitments.
“It’s unacceptable in today’s day and age that the issue is still taboo in the workplace and in society in general.”
“Not only are employees having to deal with multiple cycles, side effects and complications in silence, I’ve heard of women injecting themselves in the toilets at work, just so their bosses or colleagues don’t find out.”
She said people should not”need the permission” for appointments nor working with “fear of being negatively impacted in their career.”
She said the pledges make ““economic sense” as companies “will improve their workplace culture and the wellbeing of their staff”, thereby also reducing sick days.
“It will improve retention and reduce turnover — and importantly it will put no unnecessary burden on their organisation.”
Chief executive of Fertility Network UK, Gwenda Burns, said she was “delighted” by “forward-thinking organisations” signing up, while Becky Kearns, co-founder of Fertility Matters at Work, added “employers implementing these pledges will completely transform the individual experiences” of millions of workers.
Organisations that have signed up include NatWest, Metro Bank, Co-op, Channel 4, Zurich Insurance, UK Hospitality and Cadent, in addition to numerous law firms, recruiters and events companies.