Tell employer or not??

Hi folks. I'm just about to start my first round of IVF. I started a new job at the beginning of this year and have already got some very good results at work. Here's the thing - I have a 6 month probation so even though it is illegal for them to discriminate against me for having a baby, they could just not keep me on for another reason. My boss, however, seems both sympathetic and impressed with the work I have done so far. To tell or not to tell about the treatment? Xx

10 Replies

  • It's a tough one! I told my bosses but I've worked with them for nearly ten years. The only problem is that I do think you need to rest up more during IVF, so equally if your performance takes a bit of a hit then it's helpful for people to understand why.

    All the very best of luck with both the job and the IVF, though!

  • Hi and welcome

    Each to their own on this burnt would tread carefully after all you are in probation.

    It's a gruelling affair the IVF but it really depends on the company. They can't discriminate against you but they can say you wasn't right for the job....

    Tell them if the need arises and you get your BFP not all bosses are understanding.

  • Hi Sarahmanc, I would advise telling your employers. I havent started my IVF treatment yet but will soon so I told my manager and she was so supportive and understanding. I do think you also feel a sigh of relief when you tell your employers as they will understand if you take time off, as I have heard that IVF involves alot of hospital appointments.

    Good luck x

  • Thanks guys. I think I'm going to wait until the injections start because I'll only know at that point if they will affect me. Gah! Sometimes I wish I could just get pregnant in the normal way (you'd never dream of telling your boss you were trying naturally!) xx

  • I wouldn't rush to tell them. It's none of their business. If you need time off and have leave then use this and explain you're having hospital treatment but not to worry. When your probation finishes then I'd consider telling your line manager but nobody else. The more that know the more pressure depending on the results. Good luck xx

  • I had this argument with myself for weeks. I decided to wait until my first appointment had been done and dusted to find out exactly what would be happening, I was told I'd have to go every other morning for scans once started injections which ment I'd have to be in work late 3 mornings. I decided also with the nature of my job it was best to be honest and just tell my boss he took it better then I ever thought I would!! I also decided to tell the girls I work with and they have been great offered if I need someone to talk to they will be an ear for me and have said they respect it's personal and won't ask question after question. So now I'm glad I did be honest cause it has took a massive weight off my shoulders x

  • I told mine but I have worked here for 7 years and they have been great. However if i was in your position in a new job I dont think I would as long as I was ok. I didn't actually find the whole process of IVF that hard with work and I think i could have got away with not telling them if I wanted. You would just have to book a week off for scans or blag doctors or dentist appointments! and egg collection book holiday. - It is do-able i think if you feel you want to keep it to yourself.

    Hard thing as well if if god forbid it doesn't work you will be back at work and everyone will be 'waiting' for you to be pregnant and that would do my head in! xx (as it is at the moment)!

  • I told only my manager but it was easy for me as I have been in my job 10 years and he already knew about my medical history of recurrent mc. I had found him very supportive then so felt I could be open about IVF. I also know I can trust him not to tell people. For me, it felt like a relief to tell him. I work from home and also travel to customers, so having him know about it meant I could control my travel and work from home more.

    Having said that, I have since looked at our maternity policy at work and you have less entitlements if you are less than 6 months in the job, so I don't know if I'd be more reluctant in your case. If you have a supportive GP, perhaps they could sign you off for the week or two that you need scans. The medical cert doesn't need to be specific - something like medical investigations or something to that effect. People don't really probe when it's something with your health. Certainly for egg collection you will need the full day off as you're sedated and you will also need someone to drive you home and look after you. You may also decide to take a few days after.

    Maybe you're as well off waiting until further down the line, usually people wait until after their 12 week scan to tell anyone at work. You're not even really obliged to tell then - officially you have until a few weeks before the due date - but it gives them time to think about cover. If you're on the long protocol, the IVF cycle could take about 8 weeks and then your 12 week scan can be anytime up to 13w 5d. So this buys you time (approx 5 months) and by then you should already be past the 6 month probation and be permanent. I think I would do that in your situation.

  • As everyone else has said it depends on your employer but if it helps mine have been so supportive since I've told them, I wouldn't have copied without them knowing. Anything that can reduce the stress is going to help. Without sounding sexiest I think it helps that my bosses are women, 1 with children (who could imagine life without them) and 1 who I now know also is having problems conceiving (she is also struggling but for her it's even harder, other health issues).

    Good luck

  • IVF is such a step by step process- I wasn't going to tell anyone but then dates of appointments kept changing due to how my body was reacting so I have told a couple of people who need to know at work because they had to cover me in meetings and it just seemed wrong to leave them so in the lurch without a full explanation, but not the whole team as frankly I couldn't cope with updating people and if it was bad news I would just rather go into work to forget about it- I think that would be my main coping mechanism. I haven't told my main boss but I have alluded to medical procedures when booking leave last minute so I figured if he wanted to know more (based on me swapping and changing my half days off all the time!) he could ask. I've taken up more leave than I could have done had I told HR, am sure I could have taken some sick, but I figured it's my personal choice and I have felt more able to relax properly by putting the words 'annual leave' on my out of office!! One tip if you do want to be discrete- ask for the anaesthetic to go in your arm not your hand for the egg collection op. I was coming round from mine and overheard a lady asking for that- A bit of a 'doh!' moment for me as sure enough my hand bruised purple within a few days- had to get the cardigan out with the sleeves that are too long for me haha! Good luck xx

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