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To lie to work about time off for IVF

(23 Posts)
beebeautiful Wed 23-Nov-16 06:46:37

I'm about to start my 4th IVF cycle and through all its stresses I'm getting even more stressed with having to tell lies to work to get the time off for scans, egg collection etc.

I feel really uncomfortable lying but find IVF such a personal traumatic journey that I really don't want anyone at work knowing about it.

I've told them I have gynae issues and my GP has previously written me a note for time off with the same reason so he's fully in support of me, it's just I feel guilt for lying.

My manager is not a very understanding person and also is known to be a gossip at work so I don't trust that it wouldn't stay private if I was to confide.

HonniBee Wed 23-Nov-16 06:51:58

I felt the same when I had fertility treatment. In the end I told the headteacher (rather than my line manager) -as I felt I was a bit more removed from her. Is there someone above your manager you could tell? Or HR?

After that it was so much easier and less stressful to book time off. The headteacher told the person in charge of cover to approve anything I requested. It was much less stressful!

eurochick Wed 23-Nov-16 06:53:29

I just said I had medical appointments. It wasn't something I wanted to share with workmates as I was going through it.

AyeAmarok Wed 23-Nov-16 06:58:18


Do what you need to do to give you as little additional stress as you can. If your GP is on board too then even better.

Don't feel guilty for lying; it is gynae issues anyway so I wouldn't even call that a "lie".

Good luck bee.

jayisforjessica Wed 23-Nov-16 07:16:39

You're not lying if you've said it's gynae issues. That's true. Your manager isn't legally entitled to know more, and isn't legally allowed to ask more (basing this of medical confidentiality in my country, and basic knowledge of HIPAA in the US via TV).

beebeautiful Wed 23-Nov-16 07:20:09

Thanks for your replies.

Trouble is she asks so many questions and gets really funny if I don't tell her things so I end up making up things to try and cover things up.

She's asked me to take in hospital letters before but I've declined saying it's too personal.. but it's because I'm at a fertility clinic and not the hospital she thinks I'm at!

Marmalady75 Wed 23-Nov-16 07:23:48

My gp was very supportive and wrote me a sick line for "situational stress". She told me to reply "its personal " if I was ever asked for details and if pushed to say "it's a private matter and serious enough for a gp to give me a line. They don't give them out lightly". Good luck with the IVF.

DragonMamma Wed 23-Nov-16 08:22:49

Going against the grain here.

The lying would be problematic for my employers.

I've worked places where there's been a specific IVF policy, which covered 2 rounds and included paid time off for appointments etc, anything over that would have to be taken as annual leave.

Where I work currently, private hospital appointments/counselling sessions/cosmetic procedures do not qualify for paid time off - you can attend but you're required to use annual leave or take it as unpaid leave.

So whilst I don't think being upfront about why you're going is a problem, I'd be mindful if lying about it means you benefit from anything (in terms of paid time off) that you wouldn't otherwise.

DragonMamma Wed 23-Nov-16 08:24:43

I should say, NHS rounds are covered at my current place of work. The above only applies to non NHS funded rounds.

mouldycheesefan Wed 23-Nov-16 08:25:59

I had four cycles.
I told my immediate boss but asked her not to tell anyone else. I was glad I did. They were very sympathetic

MauiChristmas Wed 23-Nov-16 08:28:59

I booked a lot of half days as annual leave for bits if my ivf treatments - it felt less stressful in the long run than feeling like I was making excuses and meant I had time around appointments not to rush and stay calm and focused.

CustardShoes Wed 23-Nov-16 08:37:28

YABU to lie.

Don't lie. It immediately outs you in the wrong should there be further legitimate questions from HR etc. Just say the minimum you need: "Gynae issues". Just tell her that & train yourself to resist further questions, so you're not flustered into lying.

But YABU to lie.

HearTheThunderRoar Wed 23-Nov-16 08:43:49

Yeah, I wouldn't keep lying, you need to give her some reason for all your appointments.

However, just keep it vague OP, don't need to go into the details, I agree with about just say something about the lines of "gynae issues". I don't think you need to explain any further.

Ilovewillow Wed 23-Nov-16 09:23:12

If there is a manager or HR other your line manager it might be helpful to tell them. However, you aren't lying and I understand your reluctance. We had 3 rounds of IUI and 2?of IVF. Fortunately it's our own business so not an issue although we didn't tell the rest of our staff. However, two members of our team subsequently had IVF and we allowed them all the time off, no questions asked so it can be beneficial to tell people but I do understand it's very private and a very difficult time! Good luck!!

welshweasel Wed 23-Nov-16 09:31:38

I think you should be truthful and find out what your company's policy is with regards to time off. It may be that you have to take some annual leave but at least you won't be stresses about being found out. I work shifts so was able to swap into nights so that I could go for scans etc during the day. I did need a couple of days off after egg collection and was honest about this and was allowed to take it as sick leave. I don't think you should lie to work.

Sparlklesilverglitter Wed 23-Nov-16 09:36:13

Obviously it's up to you but I have managed a team for about 8 years now and a couple of my ladies have had IVF, they spoke to me said they were having IVF but wished it to go no further than me and it never did, I also never asked about how it was going unless they started the conversation.
I think why not just be up front, I much prefer my team to just tell me honestly

EatTheCake Wed 23-Nov-16 09:38:53

Why not just tell 1 manager and say you don't wish for it to go any further?

I currently have 1 staff member off and I am the only person in the office that knows its for IVF. I respect my staff for just telling me straight

stealthbanana Wed 23-Nov-16 09:44:32

If you do not have a good manager, fgs don't feel you need to tell them anything more than you have a medical appointment! On the most cynical view, you are basically flagging your intention to fall pregnant without any of the legal protection you get when you're actually pregnant. On the best case view you are sharing at a level you don't feel comfortable with.

(Obviously this doesn't apply if your work has an actual policy on IVF, but I am assuming you don't.)

user1471950254 Wed 23-Nov-16 09:46:35

I'd also be open as your organisation may have a procedure re the time our the business which may benefit you.

In my company and my previous one showing a line manager evidence of hospital appointments is a requirement to have the time off paid. It's expected to look to get the app't out with work hours is possible but obviously for many things this isn't possible.
If someone refused to show me a letter i would advise them they would need to take annual leave. However I would treat anything like this as confidential and your line manager should not disclose your circumstances to others.

Good luck with IVF flowers

jayisforjessica Wed 23-Nov-16 12:27:27

your line manager should not disclose your circumstances to others

But OP has already said she's the type, and she's only got to tell one person for it to do the rounds, which is exactly what OP doesn't want. It doesn't matter that this manager shouldn't say anything. The fact is that OP thinks, based on her experience of this woman, that she will.

OP is there anyone above your line manager's head you can speak to? Repeat the "gynae issue" line and add something like "I'm telling you, Ethel, because I'm not entirely sure I can trust Mabel to be discreet, so I'd like it if you asked her to respect my wish for privacy in this matter" or something. I don't know. It's hard to say without knowing more of the dynamics of your workplace, unfortunately sad Good luck.

Blue2014 Wed 23-Nov-16 12:39:27

Don't feel guilty - you don't have to say anything. I didn't for exactly the same reason. What bosses are supposed to do and what they actually do can be completely separate. 2 other women in my team are having IVF, I know all about it even though they've never told because our boss has told me. She's a lovely women but just can't keep a secret, I wouldn't have dreamt of telling her!

beebeautiful Wed 23-Nov-16 14:27:34

The HR department is even worse, even I know personal information about other members of staff because they gossip - it's awful.

I really can't tell anyone at work otherwise I know it would do the rounds as it's too stressful as it is.

I do hate lying but I try keep the lies as close to the truth as I can (scans, blood tests etc) just don't say the reason for these tests.

stealthbanana Wed 23-Nov-16 15:17:15

OP I told work I was having treatment related to an "ovarian cyst" - would this keep the nosey parkers off your back? I figured growing follies wasn't that far off from a cyst so not really too much of a lie ;) Plus it was helpful when I got tender in the abdomen whilst cycling to have a consistent reason for that.

Also then was convenient when my ivf worked as I was able to pass my pregnancy off as being related to my fertility returning due to cyst removal grin

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