The Work Couch

Fertility challenges and work (Part 1): A partner's perspective

Published on 19 July 2023

Welcome to The Work Couch, the podcast series where we explore how your business can navigate today's tricky people challenges and respond to key developments in the ever-evolving world of employment law.

With the World Health Organisation reporting that around 17.5% of the adult population experience infertility, this week we are shining a light on those challenges and in particular, how fertility issues can affect someone at work and what businesses can do to support people.

In part 1 of our series on fertility challenges and work, Ellie Gelder is joined by partner Jonathan Crompton in RPC's Hong Kong office to explore the impact that fertility issues can have on a person's wellbeing and working life. Jonathan explains:

  • His own fertility journey and how this has affected his wellbeing and working life as a lawyer;
  • How fertility challenges and pregnancy loss can impact the non-childbearing partner;
  • Why, according to research by Fertility Family, more men than women would rather call in sick than tell their employer they're going to a fertility appointment;
  • Changing the language and terminology around fertility so that it is not perceived as something "elective" or a "women-only" issue;
  • The importance of vulnerability, especially among business leaders, in opening up the conversation around fertility; and
  • How the legal profession, and others, should raise awareness of the issue across their workforce and enable a better understanding of the risks of delaying starting a family.

In part 2 next week, Jonathan will explain how businesses can implement effective support for people affected by fertility challenges, including: fertility treatment policies, providing fertility coaches to help people navigate their fertility journeys, and appointing internal "fertility officers" as a source of support and advice for colleagues.

* Please note these podcasts will not run on Internet Explorer

If you would like to find out more about fertility issues or pregnancy loss, you can access further guidance and support from Fertility Network UK, The Miscarriage Association or Tommy’s Miscarriage Information and Support. For support and information on endometriosis, please visit Endometriosis UK.

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All information is correct at the time of recording.  The Work Couch is not a substitute for legal advice.