North Ayrshire Council Leader Joe Cullinane has announced that the Council are to develop menopause specific HR guidance in partnership with local trade union branches.
Councillor Cullinane told Wednesday’s full council meeting, in response to a tabled question about menopause support for staff that just under 75% of the Council’s 6000 workforce are women, 42.5% of whom are aged 50 or over. The Council will therefore lead from the front on the issue of menopausal workplace support by developing progressive menopause guidance that aims to support the Council’s female employees.
Whilst it is the case that North Ayrshire Council does not currently have a menopause specific HR policy or guidance it is the case that some women experiencing menopause related health issues employed by the Council have received support through the occupational health service. A menopause specific policy would put support on a formal footing, setting out what kind of support women employees can expect with menopause related health issues and assisting managers in delivering that support.
Awareness of menopause related issues in the workplace is increasing. Last year North Ayrshire Council hosted a well attended ‘Working with Menopause’ event for staff and a further such event is planned for later this year.
Councillor Cullinane also praised the Unite the Union branch at NHS Ayrshire and Arran at the full council meeting for their “Menopause Matters Too” campaign which they have taken into Crosshouse and Ayr hospitals.
A report on developing menopause specific HR guidance will go to the next meeting of the Council’s 1st Tier JCC, a committee chaired by the Council Leader which has cross party and trade union membership. The meeting will take place on Friday 31st May.
Councillor Cullinane said;
“We welcome the increased awareness of menopause related health issues in the workplace and are determined to lead from the front on the issue.
“Almost three-quarters of the Council’s workforce are women and we know many will experience menopausal health related issues during their time working with the Council. The development of progressive menopause specific HR guidance will therefore set out what kind of support women employed with the Council can expect with menopausal related health issues.
“Working with the trade union branches to develop the guidance is key to ensuring we properly engage with the Council’s female workforce. That will mean we can fully support the needs of women with menopause related issues and break the stigma surrounding this.”