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‘The journey to parenthood is different for everyone’: DLA Piper on fertility leave

Global law firm DLA Piper has announced a new fertility leave policy in Australia, in what it said will help reduce stigma around the fertility journey and foster open conversations.

user iconLauren Croft 12 October 2021 Big Law
DLA Piper on fertility leave
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Moving forward, staff at the global law firm will have access to five days of paid leave, in any one year, to undergo fertility treatment. Additionally, two days of paid leave will be offered for staff to support a partner who is undergoing fertility treatment.

DLA Piper Australia managing partner Amber Matthews said that undergoing these types of treatments can be “challenging and emotional” and that the new policy was an important part of opening up conversations about fertility.

“For staff going through the fertility treatment process, we hope this policy will help relieve some of the stress they may feel and also support the rest and recovery they will likely need,” she said.


“Importantly, we want to foster a culture that reduces stigma around the fertility journey and opens the conversation in our workplace to help staff seek the support they need.”

Rosanna Brennan, head of HR at DLA Piper Australia, said that whilst “the journey to parenthood is different for everyone”, the firm hopes that the introduction of the policy will “help to relieve some of the stress that may be felt during fertility treatment, and contribute to the rest and recovery that may be needed during this time”.

“We can see policies like this are becoming more common in our industry, and we absolutely welcome that change. We hope that by contributing to this important conversation, we are encouraging other firms to follow,” she added.

The policy was announced ahead of International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, taking place on Friday, 15 October, and is key to supporting the firm’s staff and their families, as well as “fostering a safe, inclusive and supportive workplace”, according to Ms Brennan.

DLA Piper has also partnered with parental support platform Circle In to introduce a parents and carers portal for staff, which includes tailored resources on all stages of the parenthood journey, including fertility treatment.

“It offers practical tools, inspiring stories, video content, and coaching information. Managers can also find resources to best support colleagues with family or caring responsibilities,” Ms Brennan added.

“The portal also offers a wellness hub, with extensive resources to help our people maintain physical, nutritional, and mental wellbeing.”

Furthermore, the firm has increased staff paid parental leave to 18 weeks, with flexibility in how this is taken, as well as continuing superannuation contributions during the unpaid component of parental leave for up to 12 months.

“Our improved policy also includes three weeks paid co-parent leave available to the non-birth parent at the time of birth,” Ms Brennan said.

“[We’ve also focused on] improving the psychological safety within our workplace through the training of mental health ambassadors in each of our offices, who provide a first point of contact in times of need, with the aim of enabling all of our people to be their authentic selves and speak openly about their needs without judgment or stigma.”