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Policy Details

Version: 1.0

Reviewed date: 2018

Next review: 2023

Owner: HR Policy Team

Fertility leave

The University recognises the physical and emotional stresses of undergoing fertility testing and treatment and wishes to support those staff and those staff with partners who are going through the process. If you have any questions, please contact your line manager or your HR support team.

This procedure applies to all eligible employees of the University. All our policies to support Parents and Carers apply equally to all staff, including those in same sex relationships.


Fertility leave is available to all employees of the University who are receiving fertility treatment. It is recognised that there are physical and emotional stresses of undergoing fertility testing and treatment for assisted conception.

As with all medical appointments, wherever possible, you should arrange medical appointments outside your normal working hours. Where it is not possible to arrange an appointment outside normal working hours, you should give as much notice as possible to your manager. A manager may ask to see confirmation of the appointment.

Time away from work to attend a medical appointment will not be counted as sick leave but you will normally be required by your Faculty/Professional Service to make up the time as laid out in the managing absence code of practice.

As a female employee undergoing treatment for assisted conception, you are eligible for up to 5 days (pro rata) of paid leave in any 12 month period for the purpose of receiving and recovering from IUI or IVF treatment. The 5 days will be pro-rated for part time staff. The 12 month period begins from the first day that the first fertility treatment leave is taken. Any unused amount cannot be carried forward to the next 12 months. Time off can be requested as a single block, full days or half days. You are requested to give your manager as much notice as possible.

If time off is required due to the side effects of treatment, this will be treated as sickness absence and the managing absence code of practice should be followed. Sickness absence taken following implantation of a fertilised ovum that is related to the procedure itself, will not be counted towards the triggers in the managing absence code of practice.

Following implantation of the fertilised ova you will be regarded as being pregnant and should consult the maternity webpages. A pregnancy test is usually taken 2 weeks after this period. If the pregnancy test is negative then the protected period ends 2 weeks later.

  • Let your manager know as soon as possible
  • request the days you wish to take leave
  • and provide a letter from your doctor/hospital confirming the treatment.

Once your manager has approved this, they will need to send the information to HR who will confirm the arrangements with a letter.

Employees who would like to take time off work to support a partner undergoing fertility treatment can take up to 2 days paid leave (pro rata) in a 12 month period. The 2 days will be pro-rated for part time staff. When you require a medical appointment as part of the treatment process, this will be treated in the same way as for other medical appointments in the managing absence code of practice doctor/hospital appointments.

Following implantation of the fertilised ova your partner will be regarded as being pregnant, and so any appointments that fall after this time (if the IVF is successful) will be regarded under the paternity/partner support policy.