The menopause is a natural part of ageing which will be experienced by all females. This experience can vary significantly, with some women experiencing no problematic symptoms at all, whilst for others the impact can be severe and can have a detrimental effect upon everyday home and working lives.
Menopause in the workplace
In 2016, the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police stated that the menopause is an ‘occupational health issue of growing concern’. However, despite the increased recognition of the impact of the menopause in the workplace, many workplaces remain under-prepared to offer advice, assistance and support to members of staff who may require it.
The PFNI in collaboration with PSNI, have undertaken research in order to provide evidence of the way in which female officers currently serving in the PSNI experience the menopause in the workplace. This research also sought to outline the views, opinions and perceptions of the menopause from female officers who have yet to go through it. You can access the full report by logging into the Members area or alternatively a brief overview of the key results can be found here.
Five key recommendations emerged from this research and we are actively working with the PSNI through their Employee Engagement Wellbeing Group in order to ensure that the views of those who completed the survey are taken into consideration.
These recommendations are as follows:
- Conversation, discussion and awareness raising: enhanced workplace support (including the creation and implementation of a formal policy) alongside a wider engagement programme seeking to empower all members of staff to engage in conversation, raise awareness and normalise the menopause in the workplace;
- Information provision: awareness training for all line managers;
- Workplace wellbeing: an informal wellbeing strand which focusses specifically on the wellbeing of menopausal women;
- Temperature & ventilation: where possible, menopausal women should be provided with some control over the temperature of their local working environment and;
- Flexibility: improved flexibility in the workplace (in both working hours and working practices) for women experiencing troublesome menopausal symptoms.
Information & advice
The Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI) have commissioned a short video providing information and advice on the menopause including; details of why the menopause occurs, information on the different stages of the menopause as well as the types of symptoms associated with it and a range of information on managing these symptoms.
Login below to view the video.