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First menopause policy launched to break workplace taboo

Dawn Pike, Head of HR

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Menopause Awareness Policy will create an environment where employees can talk openly about the subject, and provides guidance and support for those experiencing symptoms at work.

The new policy has been developed in partnership with Unite to recognise that the menopause can be a significant issue for employees. It will promote a positive attitude towards employees throughout the menopause and endeavour to create a setting where work and any health effects can be combined successfully.

The CSP wants to enhance the health, welfare and opportunities of women at work, ensure skilled staff members are retained and recognise the talent and contribution of its workforce.

The menopause is a normal

The CSP’s Head of HR Dawn Pike said it is important for organisations to prioritise this issue. She said: “We want employees to work in an environment where they can perform at their best. The menopause is a normal and natural life stage and we want to ensure women know support is available. We recognise it can be a difficult subject to talk about but we hope to create a workplace where employees can discuss it openly if they wish.”

The CSP will provide information and training sessions for all managers to ensure it is handled sensitively and appropriately. There will also be menopause-specific risk assessments for affected staff and support may include flexibility of hours, suitable ventilation, easy access to cold water and bathrooms, regular rest breaks to go outside, occupational health referral and consideration around work clothing.

 Louise Walker, policy officer for Unite which is the union for CSP staff, said: “Unite members at the CSP welcome this policy as a really positive step forward.”

Panic attacks

The menopause can happen naturally between 45 and 55 years of age or as late as mid-60s. The average age to reach menopause is 51 although it can happen naturally much earlier or as a result of surgery, serious illness and medication. Symptoms can include hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disturbance, headaches or worsening migraines, poor concentration or memory problems, emotional symptoms – depression, anxiety, panic attacks and mood changes – weight and skin changes, urinary symptoms or joint pain.

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