Menopause Policy

This article outlines NICVA's Menopause Policy.

Who is this policy for? 

NICVA has developed this policy to set out how it will aim to support employees experiencing symptoms of the menopause, providing guidance to line managers and colleagues on what the menopause is and what support can be provided.  

Why is this policy important? 

NICVA is committed to providing an inclusive and supportive working environment for everyone who works here and aims to foster a culture where colleagues can openly and comfortably have conversations or engage in discussions about menopause with colleagues and managers.  

The menopause is a natural part of ageing that usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55* with the average age of it occurring being 51. NICVA recognises that many staff are nearing or in that age range and seeks to support women before, during and after the menopause.  

The policy recognises that the menopause is a very individual experience which will impact in different ways and to different degrees. As symptoms may last for several years, support provided will change in response to the need and varying symptoms.  

What are the policy objectives? 

  • To ensure everyone understands what the menopause is. 
  • To educate and inform all staff about the potential symptoms of menopause and outline how managers can support staff at work. 
  • To ensure that staff experiencing menopause symptoms feel empowered to discuss it without embarrassment to ask for support to enable them to continue to work successfully in their roles.  
  • To reduce absenteeism due to menopausal symptoms to enable our colleagues to continue to work comfortably. 

Symptoms of the Menopause 

Symptoms can last months or years and can change over time. The first sign of the perimenopause is usually, but not always, a change in the normal pattern of periods, for example they become irregular.  Eventually they will stop altogether. 

Common symptoms of menopause and perimenopause include (this list is not exhaustive): 

  • changes to mood including low mood, anxiety, mood swings, low self-esteem and problems with memory or concentration (brain fog)
  • hot flushes, including feeling dizzy  
  • difficulty sleeping, which may be a result of night sweats  
  • palpitations, when your heartbeats suddenly become more noticeable 
  • headaches and migraines that are worse than usual 
  • muscle aches and joint pains 
  • changed body shape and weight gain 
  • skin changes including dry and itchy skin 
  • recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) 

What support is available at NICVA? 

Line managers should be supportive during this time. Anyone experiencing issues due to the menopause can be helped through the implementation of supportive adjustments, agreed with their manager and employees are also encouraged to talk to their GP. There is a range of workplace changes that can be considered by managers, should a member of staff seek support due to the menopause and each employee should be supported as an individual as no one size fits all.  

The policy also aims to support women who may feel they are experiencing one or more symptoms but aren’t sure if it could be related to the menopause and wish to find out more. NICVA will provide a supportive environment for conversations to take place and information to be gathered.   

Line mangers can consider the following in discussion with employees: 

  • Seating by a window or in another area of the building if available 
  • Seating away from radiators 
  • Desk / floor fans on request  
  • Allow time for supportive conversations 
  • Review workstation set up 
  • Breaks to assist with concentration 
  • Flexible start and finish times  
  • Working from home  
  • Outdoor walking meetings where appropriate 
  • Occupational Health – appointments arranged through HR and line manager 

Line managers can also remind their colleagues about the following: 

  • Ready access to cool drinking water (filtered water available in all kitchens) 
  • Period/Menopause products for emergency use in the ladies’ washrooms 
  • Gain more information and/or have a chat with NICVA’s Menopause Champion 
  • Access the Employee Assistance Programme for free, confidential counselling 
  • Flexible Working policy 

Where can you find other sources of information about the menopause? 

CIPD Menopause Guidance for Managers 
Menopause Matters 
NHS Menopause Treatment 
The Association of UK Dieticians 

NICVA’s Menopause Champion 

Susan Glass is NICVA’s Menopause Champion who will happily talk to any colleagues and managers who wish: 

  • to find out more general information about the menopause,  
  • to receive signposting to other sources of information and guidance 
  • to receive guidance on practical support available at NICVA  
  • a listening ear to share and discuss personal and individual circumstances.  

Susan can be contacted by email: [email protected] to arrange an in person or remote chat.  

We share NICVA’s policies to assist organisations in drafting their own. However, our policies are relevant to NICVA and are not samples. They should not be replicated, but may be used for reference purposes, in conjunction with other guidance available. NICVA cannot accept any claims arising from error or misinterpretation.

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