Work and IVF

Good morning everyone.

Today I have spoken to my HR department at work regarding my rights during my treatment. Basically they are nothing but I wasn't surprised to be honest. They just said once you have your bfp after the 2ww your normal pregnancy rights kick in.

I work in an lone working environment most days and work with money.

I asked about getting time off for appointments they said it either came out of my holiday entitlement or I could request unpaid leave. Am not bothered about not getting paid but I had hoped they would be a policy for letting me have time for medical appointments.

I know that once treatment starts and I have to go for bloods and scans every few day. Does anyone know where I would stand with this, my rotas are done monthly and it's hard to change them on a short notice.

25 Replies

  • It's really difficult when your work isn't understanding or helpful. I'm pretty sure it would be different if the appointments were for a different medical reason.

    A colleague of mine has time off weekly for counselling sessions which she still gets paid for.

    Would be a way for you to make up the time you have had off? I try to have all my scans early in the morning then I stay later at work to make up the time. Or perhaps a colleague/friend that would swap shifts with you.

  • Hey Mrsgled, sorry to hear your work are not being very sympathetic to your needs.

    I would explain to your clinic and aak whether you can have early morning or late afternoon appointments so at least your maybe only getting in a bit late or leaving a bit early.

    The appointments dont last long, 20 mins or so but I suppose that also depends on how far you work from the hospital.

    Good luck with your treatment xx

  • Most of my lone working goes on early on a morning and late at night. It would be at least 2hrs I would be away as I don't drive and the hospital is 30min bus ride away.

    I ideally don't want to use my holidays up as they have changed holiday system this month and I only have minimal days left as I had already booked holidays before the changes. The only other option i have is being sick. I get full pay for the time off but am not keen on abusing that.

  • It's so rubbish that you can't get some time off for appointments, I was lucky with my work and was allowed to pop out as the hospital was only 10 mins drive from my work. The appointments can vary depending on how you respond to the injections. When I was on FSH I had a scan on the Friday and was advised to up my dose then come back on the Monday sir another scan, a bit last minute for work but they were fine, I then had to go again on the Wednesday and the following Friday. They can be really close together and last minute as it depends on how your follicles are developing. Try and request early or late appointments too. They generally shouldn't last long but on a couple of my appointments there was a bit of waiting time as they were running behind schedule. If you're financially ok then unpaid leave might be good for you, can you take half days? Or make up the hours somehow? X

  • Its terrible your work is so unsympathetic. I would have thought that hospital appointments would be special leave or authorised absence but sadly all employers are not the same. Good idea from LBM1979 to ask you clinic for early morning/late afternoon appointments and seeing if you could work your time back. Good luck xx

  • It's only been today that I've actually thought about the time off I'm gonna need so it's sent me into a panic lol.

    I also don't like the idea of being in work on my own for long periods of time. Once am pregnant this policy changes and I will not be allowed to lone work.

  • Hi, you have rights to take absence from work for IVF like any other medical condition. So time away for appointments or being signed off by your GP are no different to any other illness. Check this website for info.

  • Unfortunately you need to be a bit flexible on the scans in stimulation although we ended up sticking right on the clinics plan. Maybe talk with your clinic and ask what times appointments can be made of morning or afternoon and hopefully can be done around your shifts?

  • Thanks for your advice.

    I'm hoping that they will be flexible. As up until now I've not had any time off work for anything.

    My only concern is that because of my stupid works policy of lone working is not being able to go when I need to.

    I work for a bookmakers so are open from 9am until 9.30pm most this time we are on our own. Usually from 9am til about 12 and from 6pm onwards

  • Just want to echo that you must have some medical rights. For sure your gp can and probably will be very happy to sign you off for egg collection and a few days afterwards. This is genuine medical leave. I also heard that you are technically considered pregnant from the day of embryo transfer up until 2 weeks after a failed test and enjoy pregnancy rights from the day of transfer NOT after a positive pregnancy test result. Sorry I don't have the reference to hand. Maybe google it? I know it's a bummer with scan dates but hopefully your clinic can help. Depends how much notice you need for work. I actually only had 3 scans in total this cycle, 4 last cycle and two of these each time were before 7:30. How have you been managing with attending appointments so far?

  • Yup I agree - see post above

  • Up until now I have managed to use my days off as I've had lots of notice.

    I guess I will have to wait and see and put a plan together until I get my treatment plan it's hard.

    I've tried to explain to my area manager that I will need time off at short notice but he's not getting it lol xx

  • Where the hell do you work?!

    Don't you forget you could self certify yourself for part of your 2ww. X

  • I'm a manager for William Hill or should I say hell.

    They don't really give 2 hoots about the staff. Sometimes I'm working a 50hr week. And the majority of that is on my own.

  • My friend did a lot of reading about this on this. Look up ACAS on google and see what you can find. Lots of disputes etc about IVF and has lots of stuff about employment rights during IVF. There aren't any statutory rights but following implantation the woman is regarded as pregnant... my husband just found you this link!

    What would your employer do if you had hospital appointments and it wasn't IVF? x

  • I've just looked at our HR file. It says medical appointments should be made outside working hours.

    I think I work for slave drivers x

  • Hospital appointments are given to you. You can't always do that, speak to your Dr. Explain the slave driver mentality and see if they'll sign you off after your implantation at all. You could self certify first x

  • Most work policies will say medical appointments should be outside working hours where possible, but as emu2016 says with hospital appointments that's not always possible. See my post above to the ACAS link - we are entitled to time off for this stuff as much as the next person for another medical condition x

  • Didn't even notice you'd put an ACAS link too! How you doing? x

  • Thanks ladies.

    I'm thinking after all the hours I've worked for them it's about time they gave me something back never take a proper lunch break either, even when am on a 13hr shift. It's not going to be forever. I'm going to be on the short protocol so hopefully it won't be too disruptive.

  • You'll feel better when you get a plan and can see how it would impact or what shifts you want to try and work etc xx

  • If you get sick pay- use it. Working long hours with no break is not good for your body- rest and good nutrition are reallly important.

  • It is difficult, but what you have to think about at this time is all about you.

    Ask your clinic to give you a treatment plan so that you can have a rough idea on when things might happen and ask them what their earliest and latest appointments are.

    Would you have anyone to swap your shifts with if needed?

    I was very lucky with my old work as I prewarned them that IVF was approaching, that stress is not good and that I might need to changes my shift times around/book last minute leave....they were fine with me, but I think I was lucky.

    The latest round, i'd been in my new job only a few months and decided not to tell them....made the earliest/latest appointments possible for scans and booked leave from collection to around test day...

  • I was really lucky and my company has been so flexible and they have it in there working guide for staff that anyone having ivf after embryo transfer should be classed as pregnant till proven otherwise. I hope you can work something out with them xx

  • hi guys i am really worried about this too, don't particuarly want to tell my work as news gets around

    Does anyone know roughly how many appointments they have had to attend for 1 cycle from start to finish?

    thanks for your advice

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