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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Guide to supporting your staff through the menopause

The menopause can be a challenging time for employees, and it is important their employer is ready to provide support for them.

Menopause is understood as the time during a woman’s life when menstruation periods permanently stop. Officially, it is defined as occurring when there have been no periods for 12 consecutive months and no other biological or physiological cause can be identified. Also referred to as the ‘change of life’, this can cause a chain reaction of physical and psychological side-effects to a woman’s body, some of which can last for a number of years.

It is therefore important that organisations have a clear and open system for supporting individuals who are going through the menopause, ensuring that any worker who needs additional support feels able to approach management on the issue and are fully aware of the steps that can be taken by the company on their behalf.

This guide provides more detail on:

  • Who menopause affects (and how it affects them)
    On average, menopause tends to occur when womenu00a0are inu00a0their mid to late 40s or early 50s, however this is not always the case. Research has also shown that one in every 100 women will experience menopause before the age of 40, either in their 30s or even earlier. It is also important to note that [u2026]
  • What employers can do
    It may feel difficult to work out how best to respond to menopause and ensure staff are supported, but there are lots of things you can do to help employees and create an open and supportive culture. In this section weu2019ll suggest some ideas, including: Create a policy Encourage communication Respond to the symptoms Carry [u2026]

Why you should make sure you respond well to menopause in the workplace

Organisations have a duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees, and to undertake risk assessments to assess risks that the workplace may pose. In addition, the Equality Act 2010 outlines that individuals must not be discriminated against due to age, sex or disability.

Treating employees with understanding and flexibility can make employees feel supported, valued and able to be open. This allows employers to retain skills and experience.

Trivialising the experience of menopause or not taking it into account in the workplace can make life feel very difficult for employees, can increase stigma, can potentially be discriminatory and therefore can lead to costly and time-consuming grievances.

Last modified on 15 November 2022
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