Posted on: Wednesday 15 May 2019
A new policy aimed at ensuring women experiencing the menopause receive the support they require in the workplace has been approved by Torfaen Council.
The policy received unanimous support at a meeting of the council today with Torfaen becoming among the first in Wales to introduce a dedicated menopause policy. The council employs almost 3000 women, 60% of whom are within the age range when the menopause typically occurs.
The policy aims for a sympathetic and appropriate support and ensuring that conditions in the workplace do not make symptoms worse.
Included in the policy are flexible working arrangements, changes to working environments such as office conditions and uniform requirements and access to suitable facilities.
The council will also provide training and an awareness campaign for all staff to help develop an understanding and supportive culture.
Cllr Kelly Preston, executive member for resources, said:
“The menopause and its symptoms is not a matter that is spoken about openly in the workplace and is commonly seen as a private matter. We believe that we have a responsibility as an employer to make sure that there is greater awareness, sensitivity and support for the symptoms that so many of our employees are or will experience.
"We also have a responsibility to ensure that our working environments and practices are supportive and do not exacerbate an experience that can already be difficult to cope with."
Councillor Joanne Gauden, who presented the report to members with Cllr Preston said:
"There has been a deafening silence when it comes to talking about the menopause in the workplace. This has resulted in many women hiding their symptoms and feeling unable to disclose menopause health related problems to their managers or asking for any adjustments in the workplace that they need. We believe that this policy provides a platform for discussion and training which in turn means we can provide council employees with greater support and help create a shift in attitudes. This will go some way to breaking the silence because the wellbeing of menopausal women matters."