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IVF- what are my rights for time off?

(16 Posts)
birdandbee Mon 01-Apr-13 14:35:19

I've done abit of googling and consulted my work policies but can't find any clear guidance on what my rights are for time off work to receive fertility treatment.... Can anyone give me some info?

EdithWeston Mon 01-Apr-13 17:05:12

I don't think you have any specifically. It would fall under sick leave policy (health matter) or annual leave (if it's not considered a health matter - not sure what best practice is on this one).

givemeaclue Wed 03-Apr-13 08:33:50

Hi, very few places have specific policies for time off for fertility treatment. I personally took planned sick leave as you would for any other operation. Obviously this meant telling my boss and asking for the time off. I took time off from egg collection till end of 2ww. The fertility clinic gave all patients a sick note for a week off anyway. I did this 4 times over 5years and 3 different bosses. When I finally got pregnant, my doctor signed me
Off work for the first three months of my pregnancy.

If you don't want to tell your work then ask your doctor to sign you off in advance with something non specific on the sick note.
Good luck

givemeaclue Wed 03-Apr-13 08:35:20

Also , if you have a male partner who is involved in the process they will need time off as well.

birdandbee Wed 03-Apr-13 21:16:59

Thank you, that's helpful. I'm sure the clinic will explain all this when we start treatment but wanted to get an idea of how much work to take on/when. Also I plan to tell my boss so want to get clued up on that my rights are smile.

givemeaclue Thu 04-Apr-13 15:54:33

Good luck, hope it all works out for you

SweetieTime Thu 04-Apr-13 20:02:14

My company have just been reviewing the IVF leave policy at the moment. There really isn't any clear guidance for those going through it or partners so it really does need looking at. The official line is that time off will be given for medical appointments but anything else is at the discretion of line managers. Fortunately my line manager was very understanding.

Last time I went to my GP and was signed off sick from start of stims through to outcome, think it was about 6 weeks in total. This time I am not sure what to do, think I will take a couple of days off following ET and then work from home until outcome. But I can feel the stress building already (EC is next week) so not sure this will actually happen.

I suppose it depends on the job you do and existing stress levels. It wasn't the physical side for me more the mental impact. I just couldn't concentrate or deal with things in the same way I would do normally.

Talk to your clinic, your line manager, your partner but most importantly listen to your inner voice. It is a good thing to be thinking about this up front. Good luck.

EuroShaggleton Fri 05-Apr-13 13:35:53

I took the day of EC off as sick leave and told work I was having a procedure under sedation (but did not explain and was not asked what the procedire was). I fitted ET and other appointments around work (I'm senior enough that no one questions where I am if I disappear for an hour as long as it is not when I am supposed to be in a meeting). I personally didn't feel I needed any other time off, so I plan to do the same next cycle. Work was a welcome distraction and keeping my normal routine was helpful. I personally would have gone stir crazy sitting at home dwelling on what was going on in my belly.

My husband has told his firm what is going on and why he sometimes has to attend medical appointments on only a couple of days' notice.

GinAndSlimlinePlease Fri 05-Apr-13 13:45:53

I think once the ET takes place, that's counted as pregnancy related leave. even if you don't get a positive result. so when i have ivf, I'll be asking to be signed off for the 2WW. There's no way I would want to work for that time!

Before that, my understanding is you can't count it as pregnancy related, so it counts as normal sick. However, our HR has advised that it is unlikely to count towards any consideration point, unless the leave is excessive. (that's because they're worried about me calling them out for sexism, rather than any clear legal position.)

so personally, I plan to work at the start of treatment unless I'm ill. Then I plan to take leave at the point of egg removal. I might then take annual leave until ET. And I'd I have any problems if I get pregnant, I'll be off.

I'm a total workaholic, but I know I get stressed if I feel i can't cope. And my boss is bring a knob and asking for lots of notice. so I would rather work until a certain point, and then just take time off.

GinAndSlimlinePlease Fri 05-Apr-13 13:47:17

my friend treated her time off for ivf as a holiday at home; saw lots of friends and did lots of nice things at home.

I shall try to take the same attitude grin

lozster Fri 05-Apr-13 17:25:58

My mantra with fertility treatment is that it's a marathon not a sprint. In other words, you need to pace yourself and think longer term than one cycle. The first round of ivf is exciting and scary. By 2/3/4 I still had a buzz of optimism but I was fitting it into my life. It's a head wrecker to be sure but not one that is necessarily helped by sitting stewing at home. Each to his own but the idea of taking time off (and not as holiday!) from first stim to end of 2ww seems overly cautious. You could end up doing 4 rounds of this in a year (i did) so that would be 24 weeks plus your annual leave! That's a big ask of your employer. Round 1 I took 3 days around egg collection then a week around transfer. So maybe about 8 days hol. I always took at least a day post transfer but overall I took less leave with each round. I think that being signed off should be considered as an option if you feel like you really need it on health grounds when the time comes however to be intending to take this course of action as a default could really put an employers back up and make life harder for people who come after you.

My other advice is that you can't untell people. So, if you make a big deal of it at work you will have to deal with questions, comments and gossip as well as support. So, if you ask for time off that isn't leave, the price to be paid is the loss of your privacy.

Good luck - it's a difficult time I know.

givemeaclue Fri 05-Apr-13 17:33:49

Re loss of privacy at work, I included in my letter that I didn't want it to be discussed with anyone else and if it was essential to do so could my boss ask me first. All three of my bosses did so.

EuroShaggleton Sat 06-Apr-13 11:55:51

lozster I agree with all of that. We are about to go for round two (first was in Jan/Feb) and if it doesn't work will do at least a couple more, and as soon as possible, as I am not getting any younger.

I really don't think sitting at home would have helped my state of mind anyway, and physically I didn't need it. EC- you really need at least that day off. ET was just like a smear test for me and I was quite happy to go back to work afterwards (office job - I might have felt differently if I had a very physcial job).

The privacy issue was also important to me. I have been very open about my fertility issues with friends and family, but not people at work - in part because I am concerned about being sidelined from the good projects for a potential pregnancy that might not happen and because it is just not something I want to share in a professional environment. I told one colleague at work who I am quite close to what was going on, but no one else. I didn't want the curious looks towards my belly or sympathetic head tilts of people I have to supervise and work with.

SteveFrench Tue 25-Oct-16 15:03:46

Hello there,

I have been going through fertility treatment and been having couple hours off from work sometimes to attend appointment.
My boss suddenly started saying i would need take annual leave for this and when I said it should apply to all the medical appointment everyone has if this is the case then she disagreed that fertility treatment should be treated differently.
Is this true. does anyone have advice?
if what she suggest is legal and no one can ever work and have fertility treatment same time tho.

Vixxfacee Tue 25-Oct-16 16:21:43

Steve I think each company is so different. In my old job I told my manager (we hated each other) and at first she said it was fine. But then I was sent an email to say that it wasn't fair on the rest of the staff to see me leaving for and she then said if my appointments took less than 2 hours I could use my lunch break and the make up the extra hour after work. If it was more than 2 hours then I would have to take unpaid leave.

This was during clomid tracking and then sims for ivf. I took 3 days off during egg collection and she was contacting me being rude via text message.

Thank god between egg collection and transfer I had 5 months and by that time I had started a new job so once I had the transfer I took off 3 days after and said I had an operation. No questions asked and my job do not know that I had ivf.

Blueroses99 Tue 25-Oct-16 22:19:23

Steve it is unreasonable that fertility related appointments should be treated differently to other medical appointments - this is precisely why I didn't tell my employers the purpose of my appointments. I am allowed to make up time at the end of the day. But there doesn't appear to be a lot of actual policies or guidance out there. On my current cycle, a lot has changed and I actually told them about IVF. If they get funny about it, I would tell them that if they make me choose between having a family and working for them, they won't win. (I know it's not the best time to be looking for a new job but still, I'm not going to jeopardise my future or happiness!)

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