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Support for women employees with menopause

Published Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Female with her hands on either side of her head

A policy to support women through the menopause and increase understanding in the workplace is to be implemented by the council.

Approval to launch its Menopause Policy has been given by the Executive Committee. The action is in line with the belief held in a number of organisations – including the Government, NHS, health professional organisations such as the Royal College of Nursing and trades unions – that there is a need for greater guidance on the personal and professional issues faced by women relating to the menopause.

The South Lanarkshire Council Policy will ensure that all line managers have been trained to understand how the menopause can affect employees at work, enabling them to provide guidance and support to those affected and allowing adjustments to be made that may be necessary to provide that support.

It will also provide information to all women in the workplace on how they can find support for any issues that arise as a result of the menopause, creating a confidence in the employee to raise issues about their symptoms and ask for any adjustments.

Additionally, it will promote guidance for those affected indirectly, such as colleagues and partners, to ensure that understanding is gained, awkwardness is avoided and any support provided is understood and, where appropriate, able to be enhanced.

Councillor Collette Stevenson, Depute Chair of the council’s Finance and Corporate Resources Committee, said: “This is a health issue that will affect all women, usually between the ages of 45 and 55 but, in 1% of cases, before 40 years of age.

“It is important for any organisation of any size to recognise the support that is needed, but considering there are more than 11,000 women working for the council, then we have considerable responsibility to treat them with understanding and provide them with support when this natural part of aging affects them.

“It is important not only to implement the actions of this policy, but also to make sure that women know that the council has a positive attitude towards the menopause and that it is not something they should feel embarrassed about discussing.

“I am therefore delighted that this Menopause Policy both ensures and demonstrates that the council understands the difficulties and anxieties that are faced by women at this stage of their lives and that these issues are managed effectively and sensitively by raising awareness and providing all appropriate training and development.”

The South Lanarkshire Council Menopause Policy has been developed in partnership with, and agreed with, the Joint Trade Union Executive and is consistent with all available guidance, including that from the NHS and STUC.

Following its approval by the Executive Committee, preparations will now be made by the council to launch it and communicate it to all council employees.