At their recent party conference, Labour announced plans to introduce flexible working hours for menopausal women. They are hoping to tackle the stigma behind the condition, as well as make life more bearable for the women going through it.
At the moment, these plans only apply to larger companies which have a minimum of 250 employees. They will also only be introduced if Labour wins the next election. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the new plans and how they could benefit thousands of women across the country.
What are the proposed menopause workplace policies?
The new policies being introduced by Labour would force larger companies to provide flexible working hours to their menopausal workers. Managers would also be required to undergo training to learn more about the condition. This would enable them to better accommodate the needs of their workers.
Under the plans, large employers would also need to treat the menopause as they would a long-term health condition. It’s also recommended they make their absence policies more flexible.
Finally, risk assessments would need to be carried out to ensure the working environment doesn’t exasperate symptoms. For example, adjustments to ventilation may be required to help relieve symptoms such as hot flushes.
Plans hope to move towards equality in the workplace
Labour is hoping that these new plans will help to move towards better equality in the workplace. Women are often at a disadvantage in the workplace due to menopausal and menstrual problems. The stigma relating to these issues also makes it difficult for those suffering to get the help they need.
These plans are just part of the Labour party’s goal to improve the workplace for women. They’re also planning on forcing large companies to come up with solid action plans for narrowing the gender pay gap. Tougher action over harassment at work will also be put into place through the Equalities Act.
Menopause is linked to impaired thinking
Although these new proposed plans are likely to cause controversy, there are scientific studies which back up the impact the menopause can have in the workplace.
Researchers from the University of Illinois discovered that night sweats experienced in the menopause can lead to impaired thinking. This is largely down to the sleep disturbances it can cause.
Interestingly, the study found that menopausal women who experience night sweats, tend to sleep for longer. The longer they do sleep, the harder they find it to think straight during the day. It’s worth pointing out that the study only found a link and not a direct association. However, it still backs up the troubles menopausal women can have in the workplace if their sleep is affected.
Having more flexible working hours and a greater understanding of the menopause in the workplace would be a major step forward in equality. However, it all rests on whether Labour actually gets voted in. Even if they don’t, other parties are likely to see the potential of the plans and could come up with something similar. In the meantime, those who are suffering from menopausal symptoms can use medications to minimise symptoms.
To book your menopause health check, call SureScan on 07835 736627.