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Nottinghamshire police has published a menopause manager’s guide to help women going through the menopause after concerns that some were leaving the force as a result of their symptoms.
The guide, published in early January, aims “to create an environment where women feel confident enough to raise issues about their symptoms and ask for adjustments at work”. It states: “We will take a pro-active stance by promoting a greater understanding of the menopause and seeking to eradicate any exclusionary or discriminatory practices.”
The main thrust of the guide is to educate managers about the issues around menopause so women are able to talk about any problems they might be having without feeling embarrassed.
It also mentions that there might be a need, depending on the severity of symptoms, to make reasonable adjustments, for instance, providing a private area where women can “rest temporarily, cry or talk with a colleague”; working more flexibly or taking more frequent breaks; adequate drinking facilities and desks, temperature controlled areas, showers/ washing facilities and adequate access to toilet facilities.
It says: “Staff going through the menopause may request to be positioned near a door or window or maybe provided with a desk fan where possible. Positioning within the office or in an area where they can get a breeze should be considered.”
The guide also suggests women suffering severe symptoms should be able to request to adjust or partly remove certain items of their uniform where possible.
Managers can consider requests not to wear body armour subject to risk assessment. Also mentioned is the possibility of a one to one “job-related fitness test”.