Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has announced a new ground-breaking menopause policy today, International Women’s Day. The policy will practically support women and all workers going through the menopause at City Hall.
Created in conjunction with UNISON, the policy draws upon a number of the unions resources which can be found here:
UNISON has long campaigned to help employers understand the effects of the menopause and strongly believes that it should be considered a workplace issue with nearly eight out of 10 menopausal women being in work and almost six in 10 women saying their symptoms have had a negative impact on their work.
That’s why UNISON calls for meaningful workplace support for anyone experiencing the menopause.
Younger women can experience symptoms too through early menopause, or medical or surgical menopause. Trans people, including non-binary people, can also experience the menopause.
The new City Hall policy aims to ensure that the working environment is comfortable wherever possible, including the possibility of temperature-controlled areas, as well as allowing for flexible adjustments in the working day, whether that be taking breaks for severe symptoms or time off to attend medical appointments.
Making the announcement Mr Khan said: “Employers have a responsibility to create truly inclusive workplaces and part of that means ensuring there is an understanding of the menopause and how it can affect staff, and challenging the taboos surrounding the subject, which all too often prevent people from getting the support they need.
“I am a proud feminist and strongly believe that women of all ages deserve to feel welcomed and accepted at work.”
UNISON general secretary, Christina McAnea, said: “The emotional and physical changes of the menopause can’t be underestimated. Nor can their effect on women’s jobs.
“Good employers want to ensure the best possible working environment. Women must be able to do their jobs in comfort and not feel stigmatised either.
“Flexible working can make a real difference. Employers must also be careful not to penalise women for taking more time off sick if it’s down to the menopause.
“Working alongside UNISON, the mayor and Greater London Assembly have created a bold, supportive policy that leads the way.
“Other employers should follow suit by fostering a safer, fairer workplace for women experiencing the menopause. That’s the way to encourage experienced and skilled staff to stay in work.”