Fertility Focus Afternoon


Fertility in the Workplace


Wednesday 19th January 2022

One in eight male and female couples in the UK are affected by fertility issues, and this figure may be higher for same sex couples and solo parents.

The number of people registering for surrogacy has been rising steadily over the past decade. Fertility is a health issue that is likely to affect your colleagues. Yet at the same time, more than 50 per cent of employees don’t feel comfortable discussing their fertility journey with their line manager.

Join us for this exclusive discussion with HR experts, lawyers, allies and clinicians about why fertility should be a workplace issue and what you can do to support colleagues who are going through their fertility journeys.

This mini online digital focus afternoon includes two presentations as well as a lively panel discussion with experts in the issue. Whether you are learning about the issue for the first time or are familiar with supporting colleagues, you will be able to take away essential learnings and useful case studies to apply to your organisations.

Join us to discover:

  • Understand the mental, physical and emotional impact of fertility and the key challenges
  • Learn how to encourage colleagues to share their fertility journeys and how best to support employees on their fertility journeys
  • Discover what the law says about maternity rights for those undergoing fertility treatment
  • Find out how likely it is that statutory rights will change around surrogacy, adoption and IVF paid leave
  • Find out what the future holds for employment law around fertility
  • Discover new software tools and strategies to benefit diversity and inclusion in your organisation
  • Ignite passion for diversity and inclusion initiatives within your organisation and facilitate greater change for good
  • Connect with other professionals also looking to upgrade their D&I strategies and work together to advance change

Fertility in the Workplace Agenda

Anya Sizer

1pm – 2pm GMT

Why Workers Are Hiding Fertility Issues – And What To Do About It

There are more than 3.5 million people in the UK currently experiencing fertility problems, and the majority of them are in employment.

A survey conducted by Fertility Network UK in 2021, looking at the mental health impact of fertility treatment on workplace performance and job satisfaction, found that:

  • Over one-third (38%) of employees undergoing fertility treatment considered leaving their jobs
  • Over half (56%) experienced decreased job satisfaction while trying to conceive
  • One-third (36%) had to take increased sickness absence,
  • Two-thirds (63%) of respondents reported reduced engagement at work
  • 1 in 5 people (20% did not inform their employer about having fertility treatment and
  • Nearly two-thirds (60%) of people felt the need to hide the real reason for time taken off for appointments and fertility-related illness.

Join us as we talk with Anya Sizer from Fertility Network UK to discuss these findings and discover why most people experiencing fertility problems are reluctant to speak to their employer.

Anya Sizer, Regional Organiser, Fertility Network UK

Michelle Last

2pm – 3pm GMT

Law and Fertility in the Workplace

This exclusive interview with Michelle Last, Partner at Keystone Law, covers:

  • Key facts: There is currently still no legal right for employees to take time off work for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment or related sickness in the UK

  • Why fertility appointments should be treated as medical ones and any sickness absence should be treated as any other sick leave

  • Why many people choose not to tell their employer that they are experiencing fertility issues or undergoing treatment

  • Encouraging a more open dialogue about fertility treatment in the workplace and eroding remaining taboos about discussing the mental and physical impact this can have on individuals

Michelle Last, Partner, Keystone Law

Elisabeth Galvin
Nina Barnsley
Bill Smith

3pm – 4pm GMT

Panel Discussion: How Best to Support Colleagues Undergoing Fertility Journeys in Your Workplace

  • Understanding the mental, physical and emotional impact of fertility and how fertility drugs can affect individuals at work
  • How can employers encourage colleagues to share their fertility journeys and encouraging better dialogue and support? Can ERGs help?
  • How can employers best support their staff and anticipate their needs?
  • Covering employment law and statutory rights with regard to surrogacy, adoption and IVF paid leave


Elisabeth Galvin, Content Editor, Diversity Network


Fiona Skinner, Founder, The Fertility Coaching Company

Nina Barnsley, Director, Donor Conception Network

Bill Smith, Head of Ultrasound, Clinical Diagnostic Services


The Fertility Coaching Company

Keystone Law

Donor Conception Network

Anya Sizer

Anya Sizer

Regional Organiser

Fertility Network UK

Elisabeth Galvin

Elisabeth Galvin

Content Editor

Diversity Network

Bill Smith

Bill Smith

Head of UltraSound

Clinical Diagnostic Services


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Join us for this informative event

What you will gain:

Flexible access to content

Our online conference portal offers a personalised content experience. You can join in with the sessions at work and on the go, live and on demand, and reach out to fellow attendees.

An opportunity to make new contacts

After the learning, join us to meet speakers and fellow attendees and make new contacts at our exclusive after-show digital meetup.

Who attends?

Diversity Network’s events attract senior HR, D&I, and CL&D leaders from many prominent organisations including:

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Great to be able to share our own experiences and tips but also to learn from other sectors.
Thank you... You are opening up a whole new realm of tech that I didn't know existed.
Thank you very much to you all for putting on a highly professional and great show!!
Thank you very much for an excellent and thought provoking conference. Many thanks to the team for organising such a great event.

See all our upcoming events

At Diversity Network, we run digital events centred around corporate learning and development all year round. Here are the details of a few of our other upcoming online events which you may also be interested in attending: