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World Menopause Day: Community highlights and seeks best practice

18th October 2019

“The work we do on this important issue needs to reflect the reality of women’s lives…”

On World Menopause Day, Community is pleased to highlight the work of some its reps who have negotiated a new menopause policy for their workplace. The union is also launching a survey to discover how employers are (or aren’t) supporting workers experiencing the menopause.

Over recent months, Community representatives at NSPCC have worked with management to introduce a new menopause policy into the workplace. The policy lays out the possible symptoms of the menopause to help educate managers and colleagues. It also addresses the impact the menopause may have on work, including sickness absence and reduced job satisfaction. The policy includes suggestions for managers on how to support people experiencing the menopause through both creating a supportive working environment and by providing practical support such as making changes to the office environment.

Community rep at NSPCC, Lisa Aytok, worked with members to gather their input and views. Lisa also led the work to introduce the policy from the union’s perspective. She said:

“This policy will make a real difference to the lives of women working at NSPCC, and not just those who are experiencing the menopause. It helps show a commitment by NSPCC that they’re interested in making changes to the workplace so that women are better able to engage with it, and don’t feel forced out the door by things outside of their control.

“The menopause can be a difficult time in a woman’s life, and trying to balance changes to your hormones and the resulting impact on your body alongside work pressures can lead women to feel unhappy in the workplace. This policy aims to combat that, and support women who want to stay in work to do so, by reducing any of the external influences that were having a negative impact on their experience at work.

“I’m really proud that as a union rep I was able to work with our members to make sure this policy works in the best interests of the women working at NSPCC.”

Lauren Crowley, Community’s Head of Equalities, said:

“This is an excellent example of working in partnership making a real positive difference for our members who are experiencing the menopause. We hope there is more good practice out there but all too often the menopause is an issue that isn’t talked about in the workplace. That’s why we want members to take our survey to let us know what happens at their work.

“Too many women don’t know their rights at work when they experience the menopause. We want to change that by using real experiences to draw up advice for our members and best practice guides for our reps, so they can negotiate better policies in the same way as Lisa and her colleagues have done. I hope members will take a moment to complete our survey, because the work we do on this important issue needs to reflect the reality of women’s lives at work.”

Take the survey

Want to get more involved in Community’s work on equalities issues? Find out more about becoming an Equalities rep.