Menopause policy template5 min read
Our Menopause Policy Template establishes guidelines, support mechanisms, and accommodations to ensure a supportive and inclusive work environment for employees experiencing menopause.
What is a Menopause policy?
The Menopause Policy is a comprehensive framework designed to support employees experiencing menopause-related symptoms in the workplace. It outlines procedures for managing absences, providing accommodations, and promoting awareness and education.
This policy aims to create a supportive and inclusive environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their needs and accessing appropriate resources.
By implementing a Menopause Policy, organisations demonstrate their commitment to employee well-being and equality, fostering a culture of understanding and support around menopause-related issues. This policy helps to destigmatise discussions around menopause, promote open communication, and ensure that employees receive the necessary support to navigate this natural life transition effectively.
What legal and best practice aspects should employers be aware of?
The Equality Act 2010: This legislation requires employers to eliminate discrimination and promote equal opportunities for all employees. It prohibits direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, and victimisation related to age, sex, or disability.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974: This legislation requires employers to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their employees while at work. This includes managing risks associated with menopause-related symptoms such as hot flushes, fatigue, and reduced concentration.
The Employment Rights Act 1996: This legislation entitles employees to various rights such as the right to request flexible working arrangements, including changes to working hours and location, to help manage menopause symptoms.
The Working Time Regulations 1998: This legislation sets out the minimum rest breaks, maximum working hours, and holiday entitlements for employees. Employers should ensure that menopause policies consider the impact of these regulations on employees experiencing menopause.
The Data Protection Act 2018: This legislation sets out the rules for handling personal data. Employers must ensure that any personal data collected as part of a menopause policy is handled in compliance with these rules.
The Flexible Working Regulations 2014: This legislation provides employees with the right to request flexible working arrangements, including changes to working hours and location, to help manage menopause symptoms. Employers must consider all such requests in a reasonable manner.
The Mental Health (Discrimination) Act 2013: This legislation makes it unlawful to discriminate against employees with mental health conditions. Employers should ensure that their menopause policies take into account the mental health impact of menopause-related symptoms.
The purpose of this policy is to provide details of how the Company will support individuals in the workplace who may be experiencing issues as a result of symptoms of the menopause.
The Company aims to create a culture that encourages an open forum between Managers and employees to enable discussions to take place about any matters associated with the menopause and to create supportive working environment.
This policy is applicable to all employees of [company name].
The aims of this policy are to:
- Foster an environment in which colleagues can openly and comfortably instigate conversations or engage in discussions about menopause.
- Ensure everyone understands what menopause is, can confidently approach the subject, and are clear on the Company's policy and practices, supported by HR and Management.
- Educate and inform Managers about the potential symptoms of menopause, and how they can support individuals experiencing these symptoms at work.
- Ensure that those who are experiencing menopause symptoms feel confident to discuss them and ask for any support and reasonable adjustments so they can continue to be successful in their roles.
- Reduce absenteeism due to menopausal symptoms.
- Assure individuals that as a responsible employer, we are committed to supporting their needs during menopause.
All employees should contribute to a respectful working environment and be willing to support colleagues who may be experiencing the menopause. It is important that employees talk openly with their line manager if they need support with menopausal symptoms. All employees are responsible for:
- Taking a personal responsibility to look after their health.
- Being open and honest in conversations with Managers and HR.
- Contributing to a respectful and productive working environment.
- Being willing to help and support their colleagues.
- Understanding any necessary adjustments their colleagues are receiving as a result of their menopausal symptoms.
If an employee is unable to speak to their Line Manager, or needs additional support , they can speak to HR [ or another member of the management team with whom they would feel comfortable discussing their situation].
During any discussions, your Line Manager will consider your individual situation and evaluate if any adjustments can be made. Your individual needs will be addressed sensitively, and confidentiality will be maintained. [Managers are required to attend training sessions on the menopause and ways that can be offered to assist employees going through the menopause.]
Managers are responsible for:
- Ensuring that no one experiences less favourable treatment as a result of the menopause.
- Ensuring that any conversations are kept strictly confidential.
- Putting in place any required support / adjustments where reasonably possible.
- Recording any agreements made.
- Holding regular reviews with employees regarding support required, including follow up meetings to review adjustments that have been made.
- Seeking additional advice from Occupational Health where necessary.
- Agreeing with the employee if other colleagues should be informed about any adjustments that have been agreed (even if the reason is not disclosed).
Managers can contact HR for additional guidance and information where necessary.
When responding to an employee experiencing difficulties caused by menopause, Line Managers will maintain an open-door policy so that employees feel comfortable in approaching them. They will support you to talk openly about your current situation and will not make presumptions about how it is affecting you.
The Company understands that employees may feel uncomfortable discussing personal information with Management. If this is the case you are encouraged to discuss your situation with another senior member of staff or HR][or the Employee Assistance Programme.]
As with any longstanding health-related condition, sympathetic and appropriate support from the Company and Management is crucial in order to provide employees with the support that they need. Above all, it is important to listen to individuals and respond sympathetically to any requests for adjustments at work.
There are numerous symptoms of the menopause that can affect an individual both physically and mentally. The menopause affects individuals in different ways and symptoms can start during the perimenopause and last for many years.
Some of the more common symptoms include:
- Hot flushes.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Low mood or anxiety.
- Problems with memory or concentration.
- Heavy and/or painful periods.
- Panic attacks.
By way of example, the following options are available to any employee who may be experiencing menopausal symptoms:
The Company recognises that flexibility may be of significant benefit to someone who is experiencing menopausal symptoms. A Flexible Working Policy can be found in the Company handbook where permanent changes to terms and conditions can be requested. In addition, the Company are willing to consider temporary changes to working arrangements, which could include:
- More frequent breaks.
- A change to start and finish times.
- To work from home.
If you do wish to temporarily change your working arrangements, then this should be discussed with your line manager and any agreed changes will be regularly reviewed with you.
We strive to achieve a comfortable working temperature for employees [and ensure that employees have access to drinking water as a minimum at appropriate intervals during the day]. We will allow flexibility within the dress code where reasonable. We will also consider any other appropriate adjustments, for example changing an employee's work location including to nearer a window, providing blinds on windows, ensuring there is always the opportunity to access toilet facilities or providing cooling aids such as a desk fan.
The Company has a sickness absence policy. If an employee is unwell due to menopausal symptoms, the Company will provide them with all reasonable support during this period. It is important that employees feel that they are able to be open with their line managers about the reasons for any absences and feel supported by them. We would also encourage employees to discuss any relevant concerns with their GP and confirm to the Company any workplace advice that the GP has provided.
Employees are encouraged to inform their line manager if they are experiencing menopausal symptoms that could affect their work at an early stage to ensure that symptoms are treated as an ongoing health issue rather than as individual instances of ill health.
Early notification will also help line managers to determine the most appropriate course of action to support an employee's individual needs. Employees who do not wish to discuss the issue with their direct line manager may find it helpful to have an initial discussion with a trusted colleague or another manager instead. They can also raise the issue with HR if they need support.
[A variety of initiatives such as our Employee Assistance Programme is also on offer.]
Employees and managers may find external sources of help and support useful.
Issue date: [date]
Author: [name, job title]
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