Welcome to another episode of The F Word at Work, in coversation with Rachel Suff, a seasoned policy and research professional with 25+ years of experience in employment and HR, has been a Senior Policy Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development UK (CIPD) since 2014. Her role involves shaping public policy, with a focus on health, well-being, and employment relations. Rachel discussed the CIPD’s Fertility Guidelines which Fertility Matters at Work consulted with them on and you’ll also hear our co-founder Claire Ingle talk about that.
What we discussed:
- The decision to develop the CIPD’s guidelines issued in 2023 related to fertility issues and wellbeing.
- Research conducted on fertility issues and the workplace.
- The gap in workplace support for individuals experiencing fertility issues and the impact on employees and organizations.
- The positive feedback and awareness generated by the CIPD’s guidelines among HR professionals.
- Challenges organizations face when addressing fertility-related topics, such as misconceptions, lack of understanding, and fear of saying the wrong thing.
- The importance of creating an inclusive and supportive workplace culture for employees facing various well-being challenges.
- The need for education and guidance for HR professionals and managers on fertility-related issues.
- The need for external signposting and resources for employees facing fertility challenges.
- Ambitions for the CIPD’s guidelines, including closing the support gap for fertility issues and promoting compassionate workplace cultures.
- The evolution of the guidelines and plans to explore additional topics, such as surrogacy and involuntary childlessness.
- The importance of language and terminology in policies related to surrogacy.
- Support for line managers who may also be dealing with fertility challenges personally.
- The significance of peer support and a broader ecosystem of support in organizations.
- The advice to smaller organizations on implementing changes to support employees facing fertility issues, emphasizing culture, education, and small changes.
- Recognizing fertility issues as a medical condition rather than a lifestyle choice.
- The workplace’s role in providing support and reducing the stigma associated with fertility challenges.
- The shared mission of improving support for employees’ well-being.
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