Channel 4 offers staff pregnancy health and hormone testing

Channel 4
Channel 4

Channel 4 is offering staff free blood tests to screen for health issues that could be preventing them from getting pregnant.

The broadcaster said it had agreed a six-month trial with reproductive health company Hertility to offer tests which would identify hormone imbalances as well as assess the onset of menopause.

The at-home blood tests, which workers will be able to order, will also screen for 18 health conditions such as polycystic ovaries or endometriosis.

Chief executive Alex Mahon said the partnership with Hertility was in line with Channel 4's commitment to support women's health and the wellbeing of all its workers.

It follows a series of moves by the broadcaster to launch policies around their employees' mental and physical health. In 2019, Channel 4 rolled out a menopause policy, giving workers paid leave if they felt unwell due to menopause symptoms and offering them flexible working.

Last year the company launched a pregnancy loss policy offering counselling and two weeks’ fully-paid leave for staff who had had been affected by a miscarriage, stillbirth or abortion.

Under the tie-up with Hertility, Channel 4 said employees would be able to attend a series of educational workshops on reproductive issues and hormonal wellbeing.

A raft of companies including John Lewis, NatWest and LADbible have introduced pregnancy loss, egg freezing or IVF treatment policies in recent months to help staff who want to become parents.

Channel 4’s latest policy comes just weeks after Ms Mahon defended the broadcaster from criticism that it should try to emulate the success of American streaming apps.

Speaking at the Royal Television Society Convention in September, she said: “It is like when people say ‘we should be more like Amazon’, but then think of those people in warehouses running around without a toilet, so they have to wee in a plastic bottle.”

Amazon admitted last year that drivers had sometimes been forced to urinate in bottles while making deliveries, saying they “can and do have trouble finding restrooms because of traffic or sometimes rural routes”. However, it argued that this issue did not stretch to its American warehouses as some reports had claimed.