One in four female employees undergoing fertility treatment experience unfairness at work, new research has revealed.
The report from Pregnant Then Screwed and Women In Data found that more than two in five (42%) of women told their employer when having fertility treatment. Of those, nearly one in four (24%) weren’t given any support, while the same number said were unfairly treated as a result.
Launched to coincide with Infertility Awareness Week this week (23-29 April 2023), the findings further showed that almost three in 10 (29%) of female employees who had experienced pregnancy loss as a couple informed their boss, with more than one in five (22%) of these women reporting unfair treatment after doing so. In contrast, only 6% of partners who told their employer experienced any negative treatment.
Joeli Brearley, CEO and founder of Pregnant Then Screwed, commented: “We are seeing an increasing number of calls to our helpline from women who experience discrimination in the workplace as a result of reproductive health issues.
“Going through the unknowns of fertility treatment, or the utter heartbreak of baby loss, can be excruciating for many women. That pain and emotional trauma is compounded by hostile employers who discriminate against women for wanting a baby. Women are incredibly vulnerable at this time and they need support from their employer, rather than prejudice. And employers should be very aware that this type of behaviour is unlawful and could land them in court if they are not careful.’’
The new report follows one released by the World Health Organisation earlier this month (April), which revealed that one in six people globally experience infertility.