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XpertHR has published a model menopause policy for employers who haven’t got a policy.
HR experts XpertHR have produced a model menopause policy for organisations to adapt to support individuals in their workforce experiencing the menopause.
The model policy wording is accompanied by guidance on relevant legislation and case law. The model policy comes after surveys showing that few women experiencing the menopause have any workplace support and a tiny number work at places with a menopause policy. This means many with severe symptoms are forced to call in sick.
XpertHR says there is “a clear need” for employers to put in place training, information and processes to raise awareness of the issue across their workforce and highlight the support available – and to document this in a well-publicised policy.
Its model policy highlights common symptoms and sets out potential workplace adjustments and internal support measures. It also includes ideas for external support resources, including:
XpertHR head of product content strategy Jo Stubbs says: “The menopause is something that a significant proportion of employees in most organisations are going to experience – and in the 21st century there’s no room for squeamishness around the subject. Ignoring the issue and the difficulties many women face could amount to a breach of health and safety legislation or result in sex, age or disability discrimination claims under the Equality Act.
“Importantly, with an ageing workforce, and retention and engagement at the top of many employers’ agenda, failing to recognise the importance of providing support in this area has the potential to alienate a key group of employees who might otherwise remain committed and focused.
“The ability to talk openly about the issue is crucial. There are also lots of practical ways of improving working conditions for menopausal employees, many of which would be relatively easy to implement. Possible adjustments include providing fans, being flexible about toilet breaks, making sure that uniform design and materials don’t exacerbate symptoms, and allowing flexible working hours to help combat sleeping difficulties.”
For further guidance see the Model Menopause Policy.