Following an extensive consultation with members of the public and various experts, the British Standards Institute (BSI) have recently published the menstruation, menstrual health and menopause in the workplace standard. The BSI hopes this will help organisations and employers to support their employees that experience menstruation or the menopause, as research conducted by the Fawcett Society suggests that 10% of women experiencing the menopause have left the workplace due to their symptoms. Some of the symptoms include dizziness, hot flushes and insomnia.
The BSI’s new standard includes examples of good practices for employers, which includes policy guidance and guidance on workplace culture. The standard suggests that steps for organisations and employers to consider include the following:
1. Consider the workplace culture. Is there a general awareness of menstruation and menopause? Are employees provided with opportunities for conversations or to request further support, if necessary?
2. Consider whether the HR manager and line managers are suitably trained or receive suitable resources so that they understand the potential impact of menstruation and menopause.
3. Consider the workplace environment. Does the workplace include facilities such as toilets, discrete changing rooms or quiet recovery spaces that are easily accessible?
4. Consider the organisation / employer’s policies such as sickness, absence and performance management policies. Do these take into account menstruation and menopause?
5. Consider whether it is possible to enable some flexibility for an individual approach. This may include comfort adjustments such as access to individual cooling or heating and opportunities for sitting or stretching.
With data suggesting that thousands of women are leaving the workforce due to the menopause, contributing to productivity losses and employers loosing talented employees, the BSI hopes this new standard will help employers to ensure that they create an inclusive work environment that supports employees experiencing menstruation or the menopause.
The BSI’s guidance can be found here: Menopause standard launched to help organizations support workers | BSI (bsigroup.com)
If you require any advice, please contact the Employment Team at Morgan LaRoche.