Burgess Mee accredited as fertility friendly employer

Credit: Elyse Marks

London law firm Burgess Mee has received fertility friendly employer accreditation from Fertility Matters at Work (FMAW).

The family and private client law firm, which employs six partners, 13 other fee earners and five support staff, was awarded the accreditation due to its recognition that fertility issues, treatments and baby loss can be mentally, emotionally and physically draining, and its provision of fertility benefits, and miscarriage and baby loss policies.

Burges Mee undertook FMAW’s training and accreditation process to ensure that current and future employees feel empowered to discuss their family-building plans and do not feel worried or ashamed about sharing fertility struggles. Natalie Sutherland, a partner specialising in fertility and surrogacy law and head of the firm’s modern families department, was appointed fertility officer to support those experiencing issues.

Her role includes offering practical and emotional support on a confidential basis, including helping to rearrange work diaries for medical appointments, finding workers to cover meetings, offering advice and facilitating introductions to fertility experts.

FMAW’s accreditation panel commended the law firm for trailblazing when it comes to wellbeing and fertility, and for its role in in driving both internal support and awareness, and external awareness, inspiring other organisations to follow suit. It also praised its clear, well thought through policies and guidance that signal that fertility is a topic that is recognised and supported.

Sutherland said: “Burgess Mee is delighted to have gained accreditation as the UK’s first fertility friendly employer. Fertility Matters At Work’s training course is both thought-provoking and informative, containing essential insights into what it means to face fertility issues while trying to hold down a demanding job.

“By undertaking this training, you’re putting your organisation at the forefront of these issues and acting rather than reacting. This is massively important to engender trust with employees. I have no doubt that gaining fertility friendly status will help organisations to attract and retain staff and ultimately boost the bottom line.”