Private member’s bill launched for IVF workplace rights

Private member’s bill launched for IVF workplace rights

Tory MP Nickie Aiken has launched a campaign demanding new workplace legal protections for employees undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF). It comes as women are increasingly facing discrimination and being sidelined at work for undertaking fertility treatment.

Speaking to the Times Radio, Aiken said:

“Women are facing discrimination at work and even being forced out of their jobs because they haven’t got rights to take IVF treatment currently. I’ve had numerous women tell me they’ve been either sidelined or sacked.”

Now the campaign is urging ministers to make it illegal for bosses to fire employees who are undergoing IVF treatment, and is also looking to introduce a legal right to time off for fertility-related medical appointments.

Currently any legal recourse against unfair treatment towards pregnant women only begins after implantation has taken place, therefore many of those undertaking IVF feel compelled to hide their treatment from their employers, for fear of discrimination or dismissal.

Aiken will therefore be bringing a private member’s bill during the next parliamentary session which began on Tuesday.

In her interview with the Times Radio, Aiken also highlighted misconceptions around IVF, such as that it is a “lifestyle choice” for older career women, when in fact around 40 per cent of those having treatment are under 35, as a result of medical conditions such as early menopause or cancer.

Aiken commented:

“It’s now come to the time that we’ve got to recognise IVF as a very, very important part of reproduction . . . We’ve got an awful birth rate here in this country. We need to keep giving birth to children so that in 30 years time, they will be paying taxes, they will be our workers of the future,”

“And therefore we do need to support men and women going through IVF and give them the employment rights that they need and they deserve.”

Today's Family Lawyer

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