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Do I need a Menopause Policy?

This is one of my frequently asked questions in the last month.

My answer tends to be – maybe!! Not helpful I know, however:

It depends on the reason as I am finding recently in the H&S world people are writing policy after policy and not achieving anything.

There can be so many policies that they are not being read, understood or even followed.

Please ask yourself – do I really need a policy? As you may just need an instruction document detailing the information.

However, there are many benefits to having a formalised documented policy so that employees can access to get advice and support whether they’re experiencing menopause related issues or managing someone going through menopause.

At the moment, there is no legal requirement for organisations to have a menopause policy however it is certainly good practice and may just help a person in distress. This maybe the lady herself or a male colleague that just needs some pointers to help support her.

Every employer has a duty of care to each employee.


Menopause policies

What you may consider adding to your policy:

  • Look at the working environment
  • This might include looking at ventilation and heating, opening a window or 2, moving staff member to a different part of the office, uniform constraints, PPE, working patterns, access to toilet and washroom facilities and rest areas
  • Put up a noticeboard and add information on certain support groups
  • Providing a desk fan
  • Additional breaks
  • Start lunch and learn sessions developing communications that talk about menopause and other concerns
  • Occupational Health departments maybe able to offer some support and signposting
  • Maybe the business has EAP – employee assistance programmes and maybe able to offer support
  • Information on how the business and leaders are committed to supporting menopause within the workplace and why menopause impacts everyone within the organisation
  • The policy objectives, including the reasons behind developing the policy and the key outcomes such as creating a more open and inclusive culture where employees experiencing menopause feel supported
  • Definitions and symptoms, which explain an overview of the range and impact of symptoms with an emphasis on recognising that all women will experience menopause differently and that symptoms will fluctuate in type and severity over time throughout the menopause

It is important to ensure that any policy is broad enough to allow for the vast range of symptoms that can be experienced.  There are around 40 symptoms, some physical such as hot flushes, headaches and fatigue, some psychological such as memory issues, anxiety and depression and some emotional, including low mood, tearfulness and rage.  Since not all women will experience symptoms, and symptoms may come and go throughout the menopause transition.

This policy/document that will need reviewing and updating on a regular basis.

If you require any further information please contact us today on 07770 302504 or email joanne@chestnutassociates.co.uk who will be able to provide you with some training dates for her wellbeing course that will support you even further.