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BSI menopause and menstruation standard for workplaces to support staff welcomed by Usdaw

Date: 31 May 2023 Retail trade union Usdaw has welcomed a new workplace standard for businesses being launched to support employees experiencing menopause or menstruation. The British Standards Institute (BSI) has published the new guidance to help organisations retain experienced and talented staff after a consultation with experts and the public.
The menstruation, menstrual health and menopause in the workplace standard (BS 30416) sets out practical recommendations for workplace adjustments as well as strategies that can help employers meet the needs of those experiencing menopause or menstruation.
The recommendations include workplaces considering whether there is a general awareness of menstruation and menopause in its culture and whether employees have opportunities for open conversations or to request support. Suitable training for line managers and HR managers, reviewing the workplace environment to include facilities such as quiet recovery spaces or discreet changing rooms and options for flexible working are also among the guidance.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Women make up more than half of Usdaw’s members and activists and over half of the UK workforce. The majority of women have periods and will experience the menopause at some point in their lives, and not necessarily in their late forties or early fifties.
“Younger women, trans and non-binary workers can also experience the menopause. It’s far from a minority issue. Statistics show that around 1 in every 3 women has either experienced or is currently going through the menopause, with the majority experiencing noticeable symptoms. Of these, almost half experience symptoms they find hard to deal with and cause them difficulties both in and out of work.
“Despite a growing recognition among employers and policy makers that women’s health is a workplace health and safety issue, too few women are receiving the right support at work. So this British Standards Institute guidance is to be welcomed as a step in the right direction.
“Usdaw is calling for menopause related absence to be counted separately and be discounted in disciplinary and other employment decisions. We continue to campaign in workplaces to support women members to recognise and feel able to discuss their menopause and period symptoms in the workplace and equip reps with the tools they need to open up conversations at work.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 350,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades www.usdaw.org.uk
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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