Cotswold District Council have passed a motion at full Council to develop a menopause policy to ensure all staff going through the menopause are getting the support they need at work.
Cllr Claire Bloomer, who proposed the motion said, “The menopause is something that 51% of the UK population experience during their lifetime, however it is often not talked about in the work place. This can leave those experiencing it feeling isolated and alone.
“It is so important we recognise the menopause and the impact it can have on those going through it. We want to support all staff who may be experiencing symptoms related to the menopause and let them know they are not alone.”
The menopause can include a wide range of symptoms including hot flushes, fatigue, anxiety, disturbed sleep, heavy and erratic periods, mood swings, rage and heart palpitations.
The intensity and combination of some of these symptoms can be unsettling. In particular, when oestrogen levels decrease in the lead up to menopause, cognition suffers. Those suffering may struggle with memory, word retrieval, and other cognitive activities. These changes can reduce their confidence to manage their work, home and social life.
Cllr Andrew Doherty, who seconded the motion said, “Changes being made in our menopause policy for staff include extra flexibility for work patterns. We understand symptoms of the menopause can be unpredictable and we want staff to feel like they can fulfil their potential at work no matter their circumstance.
“We are also intend to designate a member of staff to offer support to any staff members struggling with the effects of the menopause on their work. We want to take the extra steps to make sure everyone feels supported at work.”
Cotswold District Council have asked its Teckal companies, Publica and Ubico, to review their menopause policies to ensure that their staff and Cotswold District Council retained staff going through the menopause have the understanding and support they need.
The District Council have also committed to working with Gloucestershire County Council on their #MakeMenopauseMatter campaign. This campaign is about working with local health organisations to ensure that support for those experiencing menopause is a central part of the next Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing strategy.
Cllr Claire Bloomer has set up a Cirencester based support group called ‘You Me and The Menopause’, click here to join the group on Facebook.