Launched to coincide with World Menopause Day last Friday (18 October), The Menopause is a Workplace Issueis aimed at supporting employers to create a working environment where female staff feel supported. The guide highlights how symptoms including migraines to panic attacks are an occupational health issue and can have a significant effect on staff.
Covering topics including awareness training for line managers, flexible procedures for sickness absence, and encouraging employers to introduce a workplace menopause policy, the guide also outlines examples of good practice. These include the Norfolk and Suffolk police forces which have developed a 'menopause passport' to help staff identify their own symptoms and communicate them to their line managers.
Earlier this year,IOSH Magazinerevealed that three in five working women aged between 45 and 55 believed their menopause symptoms had negatively impacted them at work, according to research by YouGov on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
"For too long talking about the menopause has been taboo, subject to jokes about hot flushes and whispers about competence," said Unison's assistant general secretary, Christina McAnea.
"Yet menopause affects most women and some trans and non-binary people too. Symptoms can force women out of the workforce and contributes to the gender pay gap.
"That's why it's a priority because women are working longer following the raising of the state pension age. The menopause is most definitely a workplace issue and should be taken more seriously by employers."