The Irish government is being urged to offer those going through fertility treatment paid leave
In September 2023, the government will begin offering one free round of IVF or ICSI treatment.
But at present Irish citizens are not entitled to paid fertility leave which could leave them out of pocket and struggling to pay their bills.
Fertility campaigners are calling on the government to implement new laws that entitle those with reproductive assistance leave that will be financially supported.
A health department spokeswoman was recently asked about paid fertility leave when discussing the new fully funded IVF cycle, and she said the government was ‘examining the needs of working parents regarding reproductive health,’ according to msn.com.
She did say that some pregnant employees are entitled to paid time off to attend antenatal medical appointments and classes under the Maternity Protection Acts.
She said: “Family leave provisions are constantly reviewed to ensure that they are appropriate to the needs of working parents.”
The Irish Labour Party has drafted a bill that allows for a provision of up to ten days paid a year for employees undergoing fertility treatment or whose partner is going through fertility treatment due to the lack of statutory leave entitlement.
Labour Senator Marie Sherlock, who has been through fertility treatment, said it was much more than a one-day treatment.
She said: “You can’t put it on the calendar and say I want to do it on this date.
“Some workplaces have flexibility, but for many others, including those working in the health profession, or retail and customer-facing roles, they have very set working hours and face enormous challenges in terms of undergoing treatment.”
She said most people take annual leave entitlement to cover those appointments and treatments, which she said is unacceptable.
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