Fertility Support Policies are the latest trend to make their way into HR’s toolkit, but how important are they, and what does a good one look like?
There are so many different ways to be a parent in the 21st century, but all of them take emotional investment and time away from work – so amidst recession and financial woes, how should companies support your people who want to become parents?
At HR Grapevine, we spend most of our days talking to the brightest minds and most innovative thought leaders in HR. We’re also, if it’s ok to humblebrag, fairly well-versed on the latest in HR legislation, trends and hot topics.
And one thing that comes up repeatedly, whatever the topic is the idea of a General Leave Pool – aka, a pool of time away from work that is allocated to worker’s, and can be used how, and when (business needs permitting) they see fit. A lot of problems would be solved this way, and it would also save the blushes of those who need time off for say, intimate surgery or private family matters that are too delicate to share even with HR or a line manager.
The topic of fertility is still shrouded in secrecy and silence within the workplace.
But does this solve the wider societal issue of shedding light on previously private issues that are perceived as ‘shameful’?
A big, philosophical question, and one we will attempt to address at surface-to-middling level in this article.
Why Fertility Support Matters
One of issues is that of fertility. While medical science has advanced so that couples who aren’t able to conceive for a variety of reasons, it’s no secret that attempts to create a more fertile ‘coupling’ cause tremendous strain on people’s bodies, finances, emotions and the partnership itself.
People of reproductive age (generally considered ages 15-49) make up the bulk of the working population around the world, and with the UK being the home of the “test tube baby” and a prime spot for successful fertility treatment, it would seem remiss of HR to not think about this issue as part of its duty of care.
Furthermore, we all know the stats and data now: companies that support worker wellbeing and create a culture of respect and trust are more profitable overall, and have far less talent attrition than those which do not.