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Practice dilemma: Sick leave for IVF?

A practice nurse has asked for time off for IVF. How should you treat this absence?

In the absence of you having a practice-wide policy on time off for fertility treatment, there is no right for you to grant this as paid leave, and instead leaving her to either take unpaid leave, or annual leave to cover her absence. Having said that, many employers take a reasonable approach to this and allow a set number of days of paid leave for the purposes of fertility treatment on the basis that it is a type of leave which is not likely to be abused.

Of course, in the unfortunate event of any complications arising from the treatment or emotional consequences which lead to the employee being signed off sick by their GP, then this should be treated as sick leave.

Alison Graham is a healthcare employment lawyer at Veale Wasbrough Vizards



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