The UK supermarket chain Asda has announced it will give paid leave to female staff undergoing fertility treatment and their partners. The company says women will be entitled to take up to five days off to cover time spent in hospital, and for recovery. It also says that male employees with partners undergoing IVF will be able to take up to one and a half days off.
Asda say the offer applies to all of its staff, both part and full-time employees, regardless of how long they have worked for the company. David Smith, head of human resources at Asda, said that the idea had come from the shop floor. 'There was a big increase in the number of colleagues asking for support through their fertility treatment' adding that they 'didn't want to rely on calling in sick' to cope with the procedure. The policy could be adopted by Asda's US parent company, Walmart, according to the Independent newspaper.
The national infertility support network Child welcomed the move, saying that many couples undergoing IVF face unsympathetic employers. 'I would like to see more companies take Asda's lead, whether it is paid leave or not' said Sheena Young, Child's director of business development.