Menopause Workplace Pledge
At Liberty Academy Trust, we are committed to the wellbeing of all employees as well as providing an inclusive and supportive workplace. We recognise that employees can experience significant life events during their career with us, one of which being the menopause.
Research from the Women and Equalities Committee found that three in five menopausal women were negatively affected at work and that almost 900,000 women in the UK left their jobs over an undefined period of time because of menopausal symptoms. This means that too many women are leaving employment “at the peak of their experience” and this is therefore impacting on the number of women in the workforce – and in leadership roles, thus reducing diversity at executive levels.
Under the Equality Act (2010), menopause discrimination is covered under the three protected characteristics of: age; sex and disability discrimination. The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) also provides for safe working practices, which necessarily extends to the working conditions when experiencing menopausal or perimenopausal symptoms.
At Liberty Academy Trust we are committed to supporting those undergoing perimenopause or the menopause by aiming to:
- Recognise that the menopause is not a one-off event but a stage of a person’s life and should not be a taboo
- Promote awareness to all employees
- Set out guidelines on how we will support employees during perimenopause and menopause.
What is the Menopause?
The menopause is a natural health event for most women and some trans men, non-binary and intersex people, that usually takes place in-between 40 and 55 years of age (the average age in the UK is 51), during which they have not had a period for 12 months and experience hormonal changes. It can also happen earlier or later. For many people, symptoms usually last about four years, but in some cases can last longer, sometimes up to 12 years.
The menopause is preceded by the perimenopause, during which the body prepares itself for menopause. The perimenopause can also last several years and can involve similar symptoms to the menopause itself. For the purpose of this document, any reference to the menopause includes the perimenopause. The perimenopause is not the same as premature menopause.
Premature menopause is when an individual experiences menopause early, either naturally or through surgery or illness.
Post-menopause is the time after menopause. A person who is post-menopausal may still experience menopausal symptoms for years to come.
Many who experience menopausal symptoms will have mild symptoms, but for others, symptoms can be severe and can greatly impact their day-to-day lives. While symptoms vary and each person’s experience will differ, they commonly include:
- Hot flushes
- Night sweats and difficulty sleeping
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Memory loss
- Dry eyes
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
- Joint stiffness, aches and pains
- Reduced concentration and focus
- Irregular and/or heavy periods
Three out of four people get symptoms, one in four troublesome enough to affect day to day life (NHS Employers, 2021). The physical and emotional impact of the menopause can be far-reaching due to the symptoms outlined above and may have a significant impact in the workplace.
Support for Individuals
Liberty Academy Trust encourages an environment in which colleagues can, if they want, have open conversations about the menopause. We expect everyone to be supportive of colleagues who may be affected by the menopause in the workplace.
Useful Resources of External Support
- Menopause Matters - Menopause Matters, menopausal symptoms, remedies, advice
- Manage My Menopause - Manage My Menopause | Tailored menopausal advice provided by experts in post-reproductive health
- The Daisy Network - Charity for Women with POI | The Daisy Network
- Menopause Café - Gather to eat cake, drink and discuss menopause (menopausecafe.net)
- Henpicked - Home - Henpicked
- Balance - Balance - Homepage (balance-menopause.com)
About the Menopause Workplace Pledge
With high-profile supporters include Royal Patron HRH The Countess of Wessex and Ambassadors Baroness Karren Brady, Carol Vorderman and Dr Nighat Arif, as well as Vice President of the CBI Lord Karan Bilimoria, Caroline Nokes and Carolyn Harris MPs, Liberty Academy Trust is proud to be part of the Menopause Workplace Pledge.