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Working through the menopause

(21 Posts)
Ilovecheese Mon 23-Sep-19 12:14:15

There have been a few remarks on other threads about the Labour Party idea to ask employers to help their employees who are going through the menopause. The remarks have been along the lines of how bad for business this policy would be.
Would that really be the case?
I have been thinking of a few ideas.

A woman has hot flushes.
The options are to ignore them and work on through, but with reduced concentration because of discomfort. Or the employer could, if asked, provide a desktop fan, thus increasing comfort, and so increasing productivity.

Sometimes tummy troubles can be one of the symptoms. Should a woman phone in sick or could she ask the employer to discreetly move her work station closer to the toilets. Sick days avoided therefore increased productivity.

Synthetic fabric uniforms can increase discomfort and therefore reduce productive work, no one can do their best if they are uncomfortable. If an employer could provide a different uniform, made of natural fibres that would again increase productivity.

Just a few quick examples, these ideas to improve the lives of workers are not always negative for employers, but can have positive benefits for both sides.

The menopause exists, ignoring its symptoms will not make them go away, why not try to reduce their impact on women at work?

Fiachna50 Mon 23-Sep-19 13:15:45

Good examples, being honest ,places I worked menopause wasn't even on the radar. I will be surprised if any workplaces bother, to most employers you are a number, thats it.

gillybob Mon 23-Sep-19 13:17:38

What a complete load of bullsh*t !

I am the only woman in our business .

GrannyGravy13 Mon 23-Sep-19 13:44:54

I think this is absolute tosh!!!!

Women have periods then they go through the menopause, always have probably always will.

Women want equality, not special attention!!!

gillybob Mon 23-Sep-19 13:48:55

We are not doing a service to women by coming out with such demands !

Personally (and I am being honest here) this rubbish would be put off from employing a woman in any role.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 23-Sep-19 13:49:59

gillybob I totally agree.

Ilovecheese Mon 23-Sep-19 14:21:59

But at the moment women take time off sick, whether they admit to it being because of the menopause or use another reason. Making provision for women will reduce days lost to sickness and so improve productivity.

SirChenjin Mon 23-Sep-19 14:30:30

Agree with ilovecheese - better to be pragmatic and put things in place to deal with the situation rather than pretend it doesn't exist. More and more workplaces are developing policies to support women through this period - and these kind of progressive policies such as flexible working, shared parental leave and so on are the ones that attract and retain the good staff.

BlueBelle Mon 23-Sep-19 14:54:57

gillybob I totally agree I was lucky and didn’t have any symptoms but if I had I would have got on with it like I did with painful periods or when I was ill I think it’s stupid to make it into an illness or disease My friend worked all through cancer, now that is an illness
We are desperate for equal rights and equal pay how can we if we have to have special treatment

paddyann Mon 23-Sep-19 15:02:28

I dont know how this would work,we already had major problems with mums and child free employees about holidays during school holiday times or time off for school plays/parents meetings .I can just hear the comments about how she shouldn't get time off for her hot flushes/flooding/mood swings if I cant have equal time off for my issues.No work would ever get done.If your symptoms are so bad you nee dtime off get medical certification ..I'm not unsympathetic believe me I've had the menopause from hell and there have been times dealing with the public is the last thing I want but you put your face on and face up to it.As one of my employees told me ..its a natural thing NOT an illness so we would expect you to be here

SirChenjin Mon 23-Sep-19 15:20:01

Equal rights means that men and women have the same rights - there's a vast difference between that and offering policies to certain groups within the workplace and there's a lot that workplaces can and are already doing as we move into a more progressive time.

Here are a couple of examples of policies and guidance for anyone who wants to read up on it but there's loads more on Google

MissAdventure Mon 23-Sep-19 15:47:11

It wasn't so long ago that an employer of mine got in trouble for mentioning the fact that most of his staff were menopausal and he would make allowances for that.

Ilovecheese Mon 23-Sep-19 15:56:56

Most of these policies just need small adjustments in the workplace, not time off. Surely these adjustments will reduce the time taken off.
Exactly right that it is not an illness and in a lot of cases it is perfectly manageable, so why not try to make it more manageable for everyone and so make working more efficient.
MissAdventure Do you think that was because his staff that were menopausal were embarrassed about it? or because menopausal women were being seen as somehow having fuzzy brain power, and so the women felt insulted?
Is that why he got into trouble?

Joelsnan Mon 23-Sep-19 16:00:12

Progressive or regressive.?
It seems than soon women will once again be confined to the home because their perceived constitution and vapours make them only fit for housework and child rearing.
Quite a few Employers (especially SME’s) grudgingly employ or actually avoid employing women of childbearing age because of maternity leave issues, add in the menopause and there is even less incentive to employ.
There is only so much a business can do to remain productive and profitable. Public entities are a different matter, but again finance is finite and duplicating cover in the workplace has consequences other than financial.

SirChenjin Mon 23-Sep-19 16:25:43

Progressive Joelsnan - I thought my post made that quite clear.

Fortunately most employers don't behave that way and we've got some sound legislation in place to make it difficult (not impossible, granted) for employers who choose to behave that way. As I said, we'll start to see more and more employers recognising that adjustments are possible and in a few years time it will just be part of normal working life, with the good staff gravitating towards and staying in these environments. Some employers struggle more with culture change than others, but they can be supported through that change if the will is there.

gillybob Mon 23-Sep-19 16:29:17

Small Employers are not supported through anything SirChenjin whatever gave you the idea that we are ? Legislation is thrown at us exactly as it would if we employed 5-500-5000 people .

MissAdventure Mon 23-Sep-19 16:31:39

As far as I know he got into trouble for taking it upon himself to comment about staffs personal business, when nobody had asked him to.

SirChenjin Mon 23-Sep-19 16:36:24

That's right - and all workers should be protected by legislation, don't you think?

However, you don't need to worry just yet - Labour have only proposed this for larger companies employing more than 250 staff.

SirChenjin Mon 23-Sep-19 16:36:42

That was to gillybob

Joelsnan Mon 23-Sep-19 16:44:08

How can you be so sure that the exclusions are not taking place within the pre-interview phase of recruitment. There are many ways employers can get what they want without divulging their specific recruitment criteria.
In many instances it is not as simple as culture change, it is survival.
Having had children and gone through the menopause whilst in full time unforgiving work, I know it is difficult, but we as women asked for equality and strove to be able to earn our own incomes. We should not now expect special treatment which would effectively negate the equality.

SirChenjin Mon 23-Sep-19 16:47:34

I disagree. Anyone who experiences difficulties in the workplaces should be provided with reasonable adjustments wherever possible to enable them to continue working productively for as long as possible. Good, progressive employers recognise this.