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Employee handbook

Period and menopause policy

Policy Statement

The SPCB is committed to providing an inclusive working environment for all staff throughout all stages of their working lives. This includes creating a culture where staff experiencing problematic periods or menopausal symptoms get the support they need to manage their symptoms at work.

Who is this policy for?

It’s important for everyone to have an understanding of the menstrual cycle and the menopause. This is not just an issue for those who experience them: everyone who works at the Parliament should be aware. There is often an impact on partners, families and colleagues too. Showing commitment to staff who are affected can help remove the stigma and address the lack of awareness and knowledge about periods, the menopause and chronic conditions that cause painful or heavy periods, such as Endometriosis. It can also help us put practical measures in place to enable people to overcome any challenges they may face.

The Policy is supported by Guidance for managers and staff that contains:

  • definitions of symptoms
  • the support available
  • practical steps and adjustments that should be considered to make working life more flexible for those experiencing symptoms

Why is this policy important? 

Periods and the menopause can have a negative impact on someone’s personal and working life. Although not everyone will suffer symptoms, supporting those who do will improve their experience at work. Creating an inclusive culture will encourage staff to ask for what they need, without fear of being judged. This policy is underpinned by the organisation’s values of stewardship, inclusiveness, excellence and respect. These values are essential to building a culture where everyone feels positively valued. The Equality Act 2010 states that it’s illegal to discriminate against someone based on protected characteristics. These include age, gender reassignment, disability and sex, which can all be related to the menopause and its associated symptoms. Failing to provide support to someone experiencing the menopause can amount to discrimination under the 2010 Act.

How will this be achieved? 

To make sure the right culture and support is in place, the SPCB will:

  • Create an environment in which colleagues can openly and honestly initiate conversations or engage in discussions about periods and the menopause, whether they, or someone they know, is experiencing difficult symptoms
  • Educate and inform managers about the potential symptoms of periods and menopause and how they can support people who are going through issues at work
  • Empower those experiencing period-related or menopausal symptoms to discuss and ask for support and reasonable adjustments to continue to be successful in their role;
  • Ensure that staff understand what periods and menopause are, and are confident about having meaningful conversations, clear about our policies and practices and supported by the People and Culture Office and Occupational Health