IVF and other assisted fertility treatments take their toll, both physically and emotionally. It’s a stressful, sometimes upsetting, often frightening and lonely time as you navigate through such unknowns
Added to that, is the pressure of having to explain to your manager and colleagues that you’ll need time off without wanting to go into too many personal details. Being so vague about needing time off never goes down well with work, so inevitably you end up having to tell people you might not be particularly close to why you’re taking time off when your immediate family might not even know. This can cause so much emotional pressure.
This is why we’re advocates of employees making it as easy as possible for couples and individuals to fit in fertility clinic appointments around their work and to offer flexible working conditions so that absences aren’t as noticeable.
So we’re so happy to hear that a new legal amendment is being introduced in Malta that allows those going through IVF treatments to be entitled to up to 60 hours of paid leave per cycle.
This new law forms part of the new Employment and Industrial Relations Act and has been announced by government minister, Carmelo Abela. The amendments were made after government officials had consulted with the Employment Relations Board, the Embryo Protection Authority, and the Human Rights and Integration Directorate.
The law now also means that single people having fertility treatment are also eligible for the same 60 hours paid leave
For all, the maximum entitlement is 60 hours per cycle, for a maximum of three cycles. Prior to this change in law, only recipients of donor eggs could claim the full 60 hours (and egg donors could claim up to 40 hours).
IVF has been available, for free, in Malta to those eligible since 2013, and in 2018 the law was amended to include this free service to single women and same-sex couples.
Minister Carmelo Abela told the Times of Malta that the new amendments to the law governing time off for fertility treatments were to “match Malta’s IVF law to the wide range of individuals or couples who underwent the procedure and would also take into account the possibility that an IVF applicant may have a gender identity that differs from their physical characteristics”.
“We believe that we should be supportive of all families, in their diversity, and also of individuals who are willing to give their children the opportunity to grow up in the love and affection they deserve.”
“Whoever wants to have a family with children, we as a Government have always been willing to help – and we will always continue to be there to help, not to hinder.”
We would love to hear how you are coping, balancing fertility treatment with work. Has your employer been supportive? Have you been given time off for your appointments? Did you feel uncomfortable having to explain why you needed time off? Drop us a line at email@example.com