Menopause at Work: International Women’s Day

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Menopause at Work: International Women’s Day

Key Contact: Claire Knowles

Author: Swyn Llyr

8 March 2023 is International Women’s Day, a day that is celebrated worldwide as it marks the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

Embracing gender equality in the workplace is a long-running battle, and with the Government’s response to the Women and Equalities Committee published earlier this year on the menopause and the workplace, it is timely to consider women’s rights at work.  

As health is a devolved matter, the Government’s response discussed in this article is an outline of the approach taken in England only. However, we are likely to see a similar approach being mirrored in Wales simultaneously.

In its response, the Government rejected a call to make menopause a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, by saying that menopause is already covered under three protected characteristics of sex, age and disability. It did not consider the introduction of a new protected characteristic to necessarily be the best approach to address the challenges women face at work. Despite refusing this recommendation, the government reaffirmed that it supports the aim of ensuring that women are not discriminated because of the menopause.

The Government has, however, accepted the recommendation to appoint a Menopause Employment Champion to support menopausal women to remain in the workplace and to ensure employers are well-equipped to support female workers during the menopause.

Notwithstanding no plans to make menopause a protected characteristic, there is nothing preventing employers from being proactive and work towards making sure the workplace is a comfortable place for all.  

Here are some considerations that employers can reflect on to further support women in the workplace:

  1. Update policies and procedures and ensure they are properly enforced and communicated amongst the workforce. Employees should have access to information about their entitlements and company support including flexible working offerings and entitlement during sick leave.
  • Line managers, team leaders, and supervisors should be well informed about the menopause. Providing training is a great way to raise awareness and to ensure they know how to manage menopause at work.
  • Work towards inclusion by offering flexible working and making adjustments where appropriate. The menopause can become a barrier to success for female workers, and implementing minor alterations to someone’s role and working environment may help overcome this problem. A case by case approach should be applied, but some adjustments may include:
    • Physical adjustments such as providing a fan, providing easy access to cold water and bathrooms, and providing a quiet area to work;
    • Changes to working pattern, such as varying the start and end time, or allowing more frequent breaks during the working day;
    • Encourage an open communication to create a supportive culture and signpost employees to occupational health support, counselling services, and/or employee assistance programmes.

Leading by example can help recruit and retain valued employees, whilst creating an inclusive organisation that is supportive of each other. For more information on how your business can approach menopause at work, please contact Acuity’s Employment team and we would be happy to assist.


Y Menopos: Diwrnod Rhyngwladol y Merched

Dynoda 8 o Fawrth 2023 Ddiwrnod Rhyngwladol y Merched. Diwrnod sy’n cael ei ddathlu ledled y byd, ac un sy’n nodi cyflawniadau cymdeithasol, economaidd, diwylliannol a gwleidyddol merched.

Mae hyrwyddo cydraddoldeb yn y gweithle yn frwydr hir-sefydlog, ond yn sgil ymateb y Llywodraeth i’r Pwyllgor Menywod a Chydraddoldeb a gyhoeddwyd yn gynharach eleni ynghylch y menopos a’r gweithle, mae’n amserol ystyried hawliau menywod yn y gwaith.

Mae ymateb y Llywodraeth a drafodir yn yr erthygl hon yn amlinelliad o ymagwedd y Llywodraeth yn Lloegr yn unig gan fod iechyd yn fater datganoledig. Fodd bynnag, rydym yn debygol o weld ymagwedd debyg yn cael ei hadlewyrchu yma yng Nghymru.

Gwrthododd y Llywodraeth yr argymhelliad i wneud y menopos yn nodwedd warchodedig o dan Ddeddf Cydraddoldeb 2010 gan honni bod y menopos eisoes wedi’i gwarchod o dan dair nodwedd warchodedig, sef rhyw, oedran ac anabledd. Er gwaethaf gwrthod yr argymhelliad, pwysleisiodd y Llywodraeth eu bod yn cefnogi’r nod o sicrhau nad yw menywod yn cael eu gwahaniaethu oherwydd y menopos.

Fodd bynnag, mae’r Llywodraeth wedi croesawu’r argymhelliad i benodi Hyrwyddwr Cyflogaeth Prydain i gefnogi merched sy’n mynd drwy’r menopos i aros yn y byd gwaith ac i sicrhau bod gan gyflogwyr yr adnoddau a’r ddealltwriaeth sy’n rheidiol i gefnogi merched yn effeithiol yn ystod y menopos.

Dyma rai ffyrdd y gallwch chi, fel cyflogwr, fod yn rhagweithiol a gweithredu i sicrhau bod y gweithle yn awyrgylch cyfforddus i bawb.

  1. Gallwch ddiweddaru eich polisïau a’ch gweithdrefnau a sicrhau eu bod yn cael eu dilyn a’u cyfathrebu yn briodol ymhlith y gweithlu. Dylai gweithwyr allu cael mynediad rhwydd at wybodaeth, dylent wybod sut i wneud cais i weithio’n hyblyg a gwybod am eu hawliau yn ystod absenoldeb salwch.
  • Dylai rheolwyr llinell, arweinwyr tîm, a goruchwylwyr feddu ar ddealltwriaeth dda o’r menopos. Mae darparu hyfforddiant yn ffordd wych o godi ymwybyddiaeth a sicrhau bod y gweithle yn awyrgylch gynhwysol i bawb.
  • Gweithiwch tuag at gynhwysiad drwy gynnig cyfleoedd i weithio yn hyblyg a sicrhau bod gan weithwyr yr hawl i wneud cais am addasiadau rhesymol. Gwêl rhai’r menopos fel rhwystr at lwyddiant, ond gall wneud newidiadau syml i rôl ac amgylchedd gwaith helpu i oresgyn y broblem hon. Gall rai addasiadau rhesymol gynnwys:
  1. Addasiadau ffisegol fel sicrhau bod tymheredd y swyddfa yn briodol, sicrhau mynediad hawdd at ystafelloedd ymolchi, a darparu man tawel i weithio;
    1. Newidiadau i batrwm gwaith, megis amrywio’r amser dechrau a gorffen gwaith, neu ganiatáu seibiannau rheolaidd yn ystod y diwrnod gwaith;
    1. Annog sgwrs agored i adeiladu diwylliant cefnogol, a chyfeirio gweithwyr at gymorth iechyd galwedigaethol, gwasanaethau cwnsela, a/neu raglenni cymorth i weithwyr yn ôl y galw.

Drwy fod yn amyneddgar, caredig, a chadw meddwl agored, byddwch yn arwain trwy esiampl ac yn creu sefydliad cynhwysol sy’n gefnogol o bawb.

Am ragor o wybodaeth ynghylch y pwnc hwn, neu am gyngor ehangach ar gyfraith cyflogaeth, cysylltwch â thîm cyflogaeth Acuity.

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