Co-op launches new colleague fertility treatment policy
Co-op has launched a new staff fertility treatment policy as part of its commitment to creating a truly inclusive workplace.
The announcement coincides with this year’s National Fertility Week.
Endorsed by charities Fertility Matters at Work and Surrogacy UK, the policy includes the offer of flexible unrestricted paid time off for colleagues to attend medical appointments whilst undergoing fertility treatment. This will also apply to staff using a surrogate.
It also recognises the need for paid time off for colleagues whose partners are undergoing fertility treatment. The guide is paid leave for up to ten appointments per cycle for up to three cycles of fertility treatment.
The policy will apply to all Co-op staff irrespective of how long they have worked for the business or how many hours they work.
In addition, staff will have access to a range of support services including counselling and wellbeing support, as well as advice on exercise, nutrition and financial wellbeing.
Shirine Khoury-Haq, chief executive of the Co-op, said: “It’s incredibly difficult to navigate through fertility treatment while balancing work and the wider impact it has on your life. Sadly, in some cases, there is also the need to manage the physical and emotional impact of failed cycles and even pregnancy loss.
“The decision to discuss this with your employer is an incredibly difficult and personal one. However, by creating a supportive environment companies can go a long way in opening the conversation with colleagues and easing the stress that people in this situation often feel.
“Having gone through all of this myself, I felt very lucky to be in a supportive professional environment; however, this isn’t always the case for so many people. I feel very proud that the Co-op is leading the way on launching a fertility policy and supporting our colleagues at a time when they need it most.”
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