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Government signs up to being a menopause-friendly workplace

Government signs up to being a menopause-friendly workplace

Wednesday 18 May 2022

Government signs up to being a menopause-friendly workplace

Wednesday 18 May 2022

The Government has committed to being a menopause-friendly workplace by signing up to a pledge created by the island’s Diversity Network.

The 51 Employers Pledge was signed by civil service head Suzanne Wylie, and the Vice-Chair of the States Employment Board, Constable Richard Buchanan, earlier this month.

Mrs Wylie said: “Menopause is a subject which is not often talked about openly in the workplace, despite the fact it has such a profound impact on many colleagues – either directly or indirectly.

“Signing the pledge is a mark of the Government’s commitment to encouraging more open conversations and adjusting our policies to be even more helpful to those going through this often-challenging life transition. 

Wylie Menopause pledge.jpg

Pictured: Government CEO Suzanne Wylie holding the 51 Employers Pledge certificate.

“It would be a great achievement for the island if other employers joined us, and the Diversity Network was able to reach its target of 51 employers signed up the pledge by Menopause Day on 18 October.”

The civil service is Jersey’s largest employer, and more than half of its 7,500 employees have either been through, are going through, or will go through the menopause at some point in their lives, with one in five experiencing severe menopausal symptoms that are likely to affect both them and their work colleagues.

Employers who sign the pledge commit to 14 actions:

  1. treat menopause with the same level of seriousness, care and support as we do with other physical and mental health conditions;
  2. take an individual approach to menopause support, recognising that everyone's journey is different and should be considered on a case-by-case basis;
  3. be inclusive in how we communicate about the menopause, recognising that:
    • some people experience early menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency
    • some people go through menopause as a result of medication or surgery (medical and surgical menopause)
    • not everyone who goes through the menopause identifies as a woman - trans and non-binary individuals also experience menopause symptoms
  4. include menopause in our long-term wellbeing / diversity and inclusion strategy;
  5. educate all staff and line managers about the menopause and its impact through menopause awareness training, delivered by a qualified expert;
  6. make evidence-based information about the menopause available and accessible to all staff, including signposting to internal and external sources of support;
  7. create opportunities for staff to come together to talk about the menopause and support each other, such as a women's network or menopause café;
  8. update our sickness absence policy so that menopause, alongside menstrual and reproductive issues, are not considered as "sickness";
  9. offer flexible working options (such as working from home, flexi-time, part-time, job-sharing, redeployment) to support those affected by menopause symptoms and help them remain in work;
  10. enable a relaxed dress code to ensure staff are comfortable;
  11. ensure work areas are well ventilated with access to drinking water and make desk fans available for anyone who may be experiencing hot flushes;
  12. provide staff with a comfortable, quiet space where they can take time-out if needed;
  13. champion an inclusive culture, which challenges sexist, ageist and derogatory comments about the menopause;
  14. celebrate World Menopause Day.

This pledge is in addition to the Government’s Menopause Café, which is an online network for all colleagues who want to share experiences, knowledge and raise awareness around the menopause and its impact on people in the workplace.

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