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Managing the Menopause in the Workplace

Employers have been slow to recognise that women of menopausal age may need special consideration and for too long it has simply been seen as a private matter. As a result, it is very rarely discussed and many managers will have no awareness of the issues involved. This means that many women feel they have to hide their symptoms and will be less likely to ask for the adjustments that may help them.

The majority of women will experience some or all of the symptoms of the menopause at some point in their lives and the NASUWT believes that, as teaching is a predominately female profession, addressing the menopause should be a high priority in all workplaces.

This training and information video can be used to start a conversation about the menopause. It provides tips and information for women concerned about raising the issue of the menopause with their managers.

The menopause affects every woman differently and so there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to it.

Some women experience few symptoms while others experience such severe symptoms that it impacts negatively on both their home and working lives. It should also be noted that some women experience sudden menopause after surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

The menopause is a natural part of ageing which usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 years of age. It occurs as a direct result of a woman’s oestrogen levels declining. In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach menopause is 51.

The menopause is a recognised occupational health issue and should therefore be addressed at school and college level. All workplaces should have an effective gender-sensitive policy that is consistent with statutory provisions.

More information and guidance for both members experiencing the menopause and activists are available to download on the right/below.

Women’s Health Concern is the patient arm of the British Menopause Society, who supported the NASUWT Menopause video. Their excellent quality guidance for women is available in the links on the below.

Managing the Menopause in the Workplace (PDF)

GATESHEAD TEACHERS TO STRIKE

Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Heworth Grange School, Gateshead, will be taking the first of six planned days of strike action on Thursday (February 7).

This action is as a result of adverse management practices in relation to pupil behaviour.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Strike action is a last resort for dedicated and committed teachers but there has been a failure by the Employer to take seriously their professional concerns.

“Teachers are entitled to a safe working environment and employers have a legal duty of care for their employees.

“The NASUWT remains committed to engaging with the Employer to resolve this dispute and avoid further industrial action but the employer needs to take the concerns of the teachers seriously.”

John Hall, NASUWT National Executive Member, said:

“There is a history of issues relating to pupil behaviour at the school which our members have made every effort to engage with the school management to resolve.

“However, the problems remain unaddressed and therefore there has been no option but regrettably to move to strike action.

“A further meeting has been scheduled at which we hope that every effort will be made by the employer to address the issues of concern and avoid further action.”