More understanding and support from employers needed says RCM on ACAS Menopause guide
Today on World Menopause Day the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has published new guidance to help employers and managers support staff who are affected by menopause symptoms at work. Around two million women aged over 50 have difficulties at work due to their menopause symptoms and it is estimated that one in 20 women could go through an early menopause. The effects of the menopause can lead to staff feeling ill, losing confidence to do their job or feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.
Commenting on the guidance, Gill Adgie, Northern Regional Head at the Royal College of Midwives, said: "The impact of the menopause on women has only recently started to be recognise and has for too long been overlooked and ignored by employers. It can have significant effects on women in their work and home life and this needs to be recognised and understood by employers.
"This ACAS guidance is timely and welcome. Good employees do not suddenly become less efficient or less competent, there is often a reason behind it; for many women that reason is the menopause.
"We need to see much more understanding on this from employers and much more workplace support for women going through this. That is why the RCM highlighted this issue* as part of its Caring for You campaign to support midwives and maternity support workers in their workplaces.
"We are making progress around understanding the menopause and the workplace and this guidance is another step forward. We need to see employers really take this on and support their employees through what can be a very difficult period in their employees lives."
*The RCM menopause guide gives information about menopause, its symptoms and how it affects women at work, particularly in a maternity unit. It also provides advice on what employers and workplace representatives can do to help and can be read at https://www.rcm.org.uk/media/1892/equality_diversity_publication_working_with_menopause.pdf. See also https://www.rcm.org.uk/media/3464/c4u-menopause-article_2019-update.pdf.
The ACAS Menopause Guide can be read at https://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6752.
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The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.