Financial consulting group Access2Funding has introduced a new policy to support menopausal women and to educate the workforce.
The move is designed to improve attitudes towards the menopause and perimenopause and to assist employees experiencing symptoms through a new series of support measures.
It follows a series of medical studies conducted in recent years which have shown the misery that menopausal symptoms can bring women, with some female employees not even recognising that their symptoms relate to the early onset of the menopause.
Speaking to the North and West Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Dawn Coker, chief operating officer at Access2Funding, explained how her own experiences following a hysterectomy led her to recognise the need for such a policy.
She said: “The menopause policy will further strengthen our inclusive culture, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.”
A 2017 study by academics Sheila O’Neill and John Eden found that 85 percent of women will experience symptoms of some degree at some point during their lives, with one in five likely to experience severe symptoms.
These symptoms often go beyond the commonly recognised “hot flushes” and can include fever, depression, anxiety, and impact levels of concentration. Other medical issues can include urinary tract infections, incontinence, and vaginal soreness.
Access2Funding’s decision to implement a policy has also been influenced by the fact that menopausal women are now the employee group that is fastest growing in the UK.
Typically, women experience the menopause between the ages of 45-55, although symptoms – such as irregular periods - can manifest much earlier as part of the perimenopause, which can begin at any point from the age of 30.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) recommends that all employers have a menopause policy in place and offer awareness training for managers. It also recommends that businesses offer flexibility on working hours and offer changes to the workplace to allow employees to manage body temperatures more easily. The full guidance is available here.
Earlier this year Channel 4 launched a similar policy. Read more here.