J Murphy and Sons tailors fertility support to individuals

Civil engineering business J Murphy and Sons, which has 3,600 employees across the UK, Ireland and Canada, recognises that when it comes to providing support for fertility issues, circumstances can be very diverse, therefore, assistance cannot be offered on a one-size-fits-all basis.

As a starting point, the organisation offers five days’ paid leave to undergo treatment, with ongoing mental and physical health support where appropriate, and flexible working arrangements if needed, which are tailored to an individual’s circumstances and role in agreement with the employee’s line manager. Employees can also take five days of paid leave so they can support partners or surrogates at fertility treatment appointments.

The goal of Murphy’s people strategy is to create a great place to work, where everyone, regardless of background, can feel secure and comfortable to be themselves, explains Dawn Moore, group people and communications director at J Murphy and Sons. “As a family-owned business, our family culture is at the heart of our values,” she explains. “We understand that when you have a child it is exciting, rewarding and nerve racking, whether you are a first-time parent or adding to your family. We also understand that people have a range of other family commitments and caring responsibilities outside of work. We recognise that families can take many different forms, therefore, there is a need to offer a range of different types of support.”

The organisation also offers other types of family leave, including enhanced maternity and adoption leave schemes, which both include 52 weeks of leave, with 39 weeks paid at enhanced rates. A maternity bonus equivalent to three months of salary paid over six months on return is also available.

Additionally, it provides enhanced paternity leave, including two weeks at full pay followed by any additional leave that is needed in special circumstances such as premature births, while an enhanced shared parental leave scheme which mirrors the maternity leave scheme in all ways apart from the return bonus.

Employees are increasingly choosing to work for organisations where they can see a clear commitment to recognising that people have lives outside of work, which often includes family commitments, says Moore.

“Fertility treatment can be a stressful time both physically, mentally and practically, therefore, it is of benefit to both sides to provide their workforce with a comprehensive package of support to ensure that they can continue to balance work and family commitments,” she concludes.