Paid leave plan by Midlothian Council for IVF couples

Council workers who are undergoing IVF treatment will be given paid leave to deal with the “physical and emotional effects” under new plans going before Midlothian Council.

The additional support for employees who are trying to have a child will also be given to those whose partners are undergoing the fertility treatment.

The plans come as councillors are also asked to agree to commit to the Miscarriage Association’s Pregnancy Related Pledge and provide paid leave to employees who suffer a miscarriage and their partners.

A report to go before a meeting of elected members next week will ask them to approve up to five days paid leave for couples who have had a miscarriage and two days paid leave for every IVF cycle an employee or their partner undergoes.

Midlothian Council's Midlothian House HQ in Dalkeith.

The report says a number of local authorities in Scotland have already signed up to the Pregnancy Loss Pledge which looks to support people, including partners, during difficult times.

And it asks Midlothian councillors to extend the extra support to members of staff who are trying to become parents as well.

It says: “Becoming a parent is one of the biggest steps in life and one of the most rewarding experiences in the world.

“For those who cannot conceive naturally, IVF can quite literally deliver miracles. Sadly, one in six couples will experience trouble conceiving. There is currently no statutory right to paid time off to undergo fertilitytreatment.”

The report says the council should provide better support to employees struggling with fertility problems or going through fertility treatment.

It adds: “Fertility Network UK recommended employers treat fertility issues in the same way as any other medical issue and provide employees the flexibility they require around treatments.”

“Investigations regarding infertility, consultations exploring treatment options and medical interventions aimed at assisting conception should be regarded as medical appointments.

“In order to support employees who are going through fertility treatment, the council is suggesting to grant two days paid leave (pro rata) per cycle of IVF up to a maximum of 5 days (pro rata) in a leave year.

“This will allow the individual some time to deal with the physical and emotional effects of fertility investigations or interventions.”