Employers obligations during pregnancy | IVF

You are not legally required to give an employee time off to have fertility treatment. Any time off for IVF treatment should be treated the same way as other medical appointments.

The Equality And Human Rights Commission Code recommends (//www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/documents/EqualityAct/employercode.pdf) that employers treat requests for time off for IVF treatment sympathetically and that employers may wish to establish procedures for allowing time off for IVF and fertility treatment. These procedures may enable women to tell named members of staff on a confidential basis that they are having treatment.

A woman undergoing IVF is treated as being pregnant after fertilised eggs have been implanted. If the implantation fails, the protected period, during which a woman must not be treated unfavourably, ends two weeks later.

Pregnancy-related illness (which may include illness in connection with the IVF treatment) during the protected period should be recorded separately from other sickness and ignored when making decisions based on sickness absence levels (for example about discipline, redundancy, promotion, pay rises etc.)

Last updated: 12 May 2016