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Supporting Employees Undergoing Fertility Treatment

Page reviewed 4 July 2022

Action 5.5.5 of UCD’s Gender Equality Action Plan 2020-2024 is to develop guidance for managers and employees to support employees undergoing fertility treatment. This aligns with UCD’s vision for EDI to be a leader and role model in equality and diversity in the higher education sector both nationally and internationally and Core Objective Four to “attract, retain and develop an excellent and diverse cohort of students, faculty, and staff”.  In 2020 UCD developed a surrogacy policy, which is an example of the University showing leadership and acknowledging the diversity of families in Ireland.

Employees who have experience of fertility treatment are invited to attend a session to share experiences in a relaxed environment and contribute to the development of workplace supports for employees. 

Professor Torres Sweeney, Vice Principal for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, College of Health and Agricultural Sciences, UCD will open this session, followed by an overview of supports from Caitriona Fitzpatrick, Chair of National Infertility Support and Information Group.

Facilitators: are a mixture of those with experience of undergoing fertility treatment, representatives with experience of providing peer support to those undergoing fertility treatment, and UCD EDI Unit.

Who should attend? This session is specifically intended for employees who have undergone or undergoing fertility treatment or are supporting a partner undergoing fertility treatment to share lived experiences and contribute to the development of workplace supports for employees. If you do not identify with one of the categories outlined above, but you have an interest in the area, please join the mailing list instead. UCD EDI Unit will email you about relevant future information events, updates and opportunities to contribute to the development of supports and guidance by contacting edi@ucd.ie and registering your interest.

When: Tuesday, 21st June, 11:30-13:00

Where: UCD Campus, location details will be sent to registrants following booking.

Background

1 in 6 couples in Ireland may experience infertility. Ireland is now the only EU state where fertility treatment is not either part funded or reimbursed by the public health system. A lack of national legislation, and publicly funded fertility treatment has an impact on individuals both in their personal life and their careers. In UCD’s Athena SWAN submission 2020, it was noted that “the requirement for supports for women fertility treatment has been raised by employees, in terms of flexibility around leave and facilities for storing medication”. 11.56% of respondents, to UCD’s EDI Survey 2021, feel that UCD does not provides sufficient supports with regard to fertility. A further 83.48% of respondents are not sure if sufficient supports are provided and 3.4% preferred not to say. 1.53% of respondents agreed that there are sufficient supports.  UCD has identified the need for policy, guidance and support for employees and managers in the workplace when navigating their fertility journey.

A private members bill, Organisation of Working Time (Reproductive Health Related Leave) Bill 2021, is currently before the Seanad at stage three. A proposed period of paid leave consequent upon miscarriage or for the purposes of availing of reproductive healthcare; for that purpose to amend the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997; to extend the protection against unfair dismissals Acts 1977 to 2015; to provide for consequential amendment of certain other Acts; and to provide for related matters. 

Supports

Employee Assistance Service: Link

Freephone 1800 814 243 (Ire)    WhatsApp & SMS: Text ‘Hi’ to 087 369 0010 

  • HSE Fertility Treatment: Link
  • Citizen's Information: Link
  • National Infertility Support and Information Group: Link 
  • Employee Assistance Service: Link
  • Irish Fertility Counsellors Association:  Link
  • CFIreland: Link
  • Irish Cancer Society: Link
  • Pregnancy and Infant Loss: Link
  • Irish Hospice Foundation: Link

Contact UCD Equality Diversity and Inclusion

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 4933 | E: edi@ucd.ie