The menopause is a work issue

Most women experience the menopause between the ages of 45 and 55 – while they’re working. Given that women make up more than 70% of UNISON’s 1.3 million members, it’s clearly a workplace issue.

The menopause is a natural transition stage in most women’s lives, and it also affects trans, non-binary and intersex people. In the workplace, the impacts can be exacerbated for disabled women by their disability and, for Black women, by racism and the prevalence of less secure working conditions among Black workers.

For some UNISON members, menopause issues will cause difficulties at work and may even lead to discriminatory action by employers. By agreeing good policies with employers, it’s likely  that we can help reduce the number of cases requiring union representation.

Branch women’s officer Carla Hardy has helped shape the council’s menopause guidance.

“We agreed managers should familiarise themselves with the guidance and be willing to have open discussions about the menopause, appreciating the personal nature of the conversation and treating discussions sensitively and professionally.

“Managers should signpost to the guidance before agreeing with individuals how best they can be supported and what adjustments are required, implemented and recorded. They need to ensure there is ongoing dialogue and review dates.”

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