Successful Mums have recently won funding to support 100 London employers through their flexible working programme.

The initiative funded by the London Mayor is designed to help forward thinking employer be more flexible through a number of small changes that make a big impact on their workforce, this includes having a menopause policy in place to support mid life employees.

Successful Mums Menopause Policy

Statement of purpose

This policy outlines the approach [insert company name here] will take when promoting and supporting the health and wellbeing of female staff with a particular focus on increasing awareness and support regarding the menopause.

Scope

The policy applies to all staff and contractors at [insert company name here].

Objectives of the policy

· To outline the approach [insert company name here] will take when providing support to women who are experiencing the menopause or perimenopause

· To encourage a supportive and empathetic culture so that female staff can manage a healthy work life balance

· To reduce sickness absence due to symptoms of menopause and retain valued staff in the workplace

· To provide guidance for staff on how to use this policy

· To provide guidance on how line managers should handle issues related to menopause.

· To detail the organisations that can be approached for further support

Introduction

The Menopause is a normal part of every woman’s life and typically occurs in her 40’s and 50’s, when a woman stops menstruating. For many women, symptoms last around four years, but in some cases can last longer. Part of the process includes what is termed the ‘perimenopause’ when a woman’s body is starting to change in the build-up to the menopause. The perimenopause usually starts in a woman’s mid-forties and lasts for several years. The perimenopause is not the same as an early or premature menopause.

Symptoms of the menopause can include:

· feeling tiring and lacking energy

· sleep disruption/night sweats

· hot flushes/daytime sweats

· panic attacks and feeling anxious

· struggling to concentrate or focus

· headaches including migraines

· Muscular aches and pains

This policy recognises that women may need appropriate flexibility, support and adjustments before, during and after the time of change and should not be subject to any form of discrimination or detrimental treatment as a result of their condition.

Legislation

This policy takes account of:

· Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

· Equality Act 2010

· Employment Rights Act 1996

· Data Protection Act 2018

· Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/3242)

· Flexible Working Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/1398)

· General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679 EU)

The Approach

The following points outline the approach [insert company name here] takes to support women experiencing the menopause:

· To offer a range of support to staff and contractors so that work is manageable, and any symptoms are not worsened as a result of their work

· To develop a culture of understanding and openness around the menopause, and to ensure women can ask for support and speak confidently about this issue without embarrassment

· To enforce a code of conduct that ensures women experiencing symptoms of the menopause are treated with dignity and respect

· To provide information and signposting for relevant organisations

· To include this policy as part of the induction for all staff

The Support Available

[insert company name here] can offer a range of support to both staff and contractors with issues concerning the menopause so that work is manageable and does not exacerbate symptoms. Individuals will be treated on a case-by-case basis, but the types of support available are outlined below:

· Flexible work arrangements such as adjustments to working hours.

· Hybrid working patterns

· Adjustments to workplace procedures and processes

· Prohibiting the need for extensive travel or manual handling

· Facilities or areas for keeping cool

· Fresh, cold water available at all times

· Providing desk fans if requested

· Freedom to take comfort breaks when needed

· Freedom to attend medical appointments

· One-to-one support from managers

· Deadline/task reminders from managers if requested which may include extended deadlines

· Information and signposting to relevant organisations

· [Company should add any additional benefits available such as Employment Assistance Programme]

· This list is not exhaustive

Staff

It is recognised that everyone who works at [insert company name here] has a role to play in ensuring a comfortable working environment for all staff, including women experiencing the menopause.

All staff are responsible for:

· taking responsibility for looking after their health

· being open and honest in conversations with managers

· contributing to a respectful and healthy working environment by supporting an open and trusted culture

· being willing to help and support their colleagues

· accepting and supporting any necessary adjustments their colleague requests

· Not acting in a way that could be considered discriminatory towards any individual experiencing symptoms of the menopause

Line Managers

The most important and valuable thing a manager can do is listen and, wherever possible, respond sympathetically to requests for adjustments at work. All line managers will:

· familiarise themselves with this policy

· be aware of the potential impact of the menopause on performance. If someone’s performance suddenly dips, consideration will be given as to whether their health may be playing a part in this.

· provide a safe place to allow the member of staff to speak openly and honestly

· be ready and willing to listen and have open discussions about women’s health, appreciating the personal nature of the conversation, and treating the discussion sensitively and confidentially and allowing adequate time for the discussion

· record adjustments agreed, and actions to be implemented in writing

· ensure ongoing dialogue via a follow-up meeting

· ensure that all agreed adjustments are adhered to and reviewed as regularly as necessary

Further Support

There are many organisations that provide further details and support; the following are some examples:

· Women’s health research charity- wellbeingofwomen.org.uk/

· Age UK – 6 things to know about the menopause- https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/mind-body/6-things-to-know-about-the-menopause/ · For support with the menopause- Menopausesupport.co.uk · NHS- Menopause overview- https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/

· Menopause matters- information about the menopause, menopausal symptoms and treatment options- https://www.menopausematters.co.uk/

· Menopause Café- a social network for women experiencing the menopause with opportunities to get involved in meetups: https://www.menopausecafe.net/

· The Daisy Network- a charity providing support for women experiencing early menopause: https://www.daisynetwork.org/

· My Menopause Doctor- Videos and information about the menopause, HRT and the alternatives- https://www.menopausedoctor.co.uk/

Monitoring and Review of the Policy

[insert company name here] have the right to change this policy at their discretion if necessary. Staff will be notified of any significant changes. In addition, [insert company name here] will review its policies and procedures regularly to ensure that they comply with any relevant legislation, government policies or to remedy any deficiencies or weaknesses.

Data Protection

[insert company name here] confirms it will process any data collected in accordance with our data protection policy and any information provided will be held securely and only disclosed to individuals necessary for the provision of support.

Want to be involved? Contact jane@successfulmums.co.uk to find out more.