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Fertility in the workplace

Infertility is not just physical.  It often comes with profound emotional stress and fertility treatment itself can feel all-consuming.  Most people need to keep working whilst undergoing treatment, but the unpredictable nature of the blood tests and appointments required can be challenging to manage around work demands.

There is no requirement to tell your employer you are undergoing treatment.  Time off work to attend medical appointments and treatment is genuine and you can request leave to do this.  You can request a supporting medical certificate from your fertility clinic that will not stipulate the reason you are unable to work during this time.  The medical certificate will only have the doctors name, not the fertility clinic’s details.

You may feel you want to give an explanation for the time you need to be away from work for treatment.  It is your choice whether you wish to inform your employer that you are having treatment.  Should you choose to tell your employer, you may wish to:

  • Outline what’s involved.

  • Outline the time you may need off.

  • Ask whether they require a supporting medical certificate. 

If you choose not to disclose to your employer that you are having fertility treatment, you may like to let your employer know you are having medical treatment that will require some time off to attend. 


You could let them know the treatment is a few weeks and how much time may be needed i.e. attending morning appointments bloods, scans etc. or a few days off for treatment such as egg collection or transfer day.

  • Ask to work from home, having the flexibility to work your own hours.

  • Offer to stay late to make up hours, most blood tests are done in the morning and scans can be scheduled to suit your availability (if booked with notice).

  • Request flexi work hours, work longer hours one day to make up for a shorter day.

  • Accrue time in lieu to use (if applicable).

You may wish to check Employment New Zealand’s website, they are the leading source of information on Employment Rights & Responsibilities for employees and employers.

Bereavement Leave

If you have been working for your employer long enough, then you are entitled to three days of bereavement leave for the death of a child. Since 2021 bereavement leave in New Zealand specifically includes miscarriage and stillbirth. 

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