Moray Council has set out a menopause policy to support employees experiencing related symptoms.
Effective immediately, the new guidelines formally recognise menopause as a health condition and that those with symptoms need the same level of support and understanding from their employer as those with other health conditions.
The local authority, which has 6,019 staff members, 77% of whom are women, approved the policy in recognition of the fact that menopause is “a natural stage of life” that can have a significant impact on daily life for those going through it. According to the council, it aims to ensure that “all individuals are treated with dignity and respect and ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of the workforce is maintained in line with the council’s Employee Charter and Code of Conduct”.
The council plans to raise awareness of the issue among its workforce, provide manager training, ensure it meets obligations around equalities, and encourage staff to seek help with symptom-related problems where appropriate.
Chair of the council’s corporate committee, Cllr Bridget Mustard, said: “As an employer, Moray Council is committed to working towards removing any stigma and taboo surrounding menopause at work and supports an inclusive working culture where employees feel empowered to talk about their health and practical needs. This includes respecting the dignity of anyone with any health condition and now more training, education and assistance is available for staff to include menopause in that list.”
For those who need support, reasonable adjustments will be considered, including flexible working options around hours or practices, temporary changes in work patterns, review of absence triggers to assist in managing attendance at work, additional breaks, part-time working or reduced hours, shift changes, support to leave work if they are feeling unwell and time off for medical appointments.
In terms of facilities, this could include the provision of an additional or alternative uniform or PPE, adjustments to uniform or PPE, a space for employees to use to make a telephone call for professional support or take medication, time to walk around to ease joint pain and a facility to store sanitary products.
Moray Council, which is an accredited Living Wage Employer and has received an Armed Forces Silver Award, is also a Disability Confident Employer. It offers a range of employee benefits, including flexible working, contribution based pension, flexi-time, sick pay, generous annual leave, cycle-to-work scheme and local discounts.