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Council considers including ‘male menopause’ in new policy

26 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Elgan Hearn Local Democracy Reporter

Councillors will look at a potential new policy which intends to improve support for staff who have challenges due to the Menopause or Menstrual cycle – with provisions considered for male menopause support.

At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Corporate Overview and Performance scrutiny committee on Thursday, June 27 councillors will be presented with the new draft policy.

The policy builds on work from 2017 that provided a guide for managers to make them aware on how the menopause can affect council staff.


Head of organisational development Andrea Prosser explained that following a review of the “Menopause and the Workplace: A Guide for Managers” the union Unison had asked for a policy to be produced for all staff rather than just a guide for managers.

Ms Prosser said that this: “had been agreed.”

Ms Prosser said: “The rationale being that staff need to understand what resources are available to them.”

In line with this request, the BSI (British Standards Institution) publication “Menstruation, menstrual health and menopause in the workplace” was considered and reference to menstruation was included in the new draft policy.

The reports adds that a suggestion to include the male menopause sometimes called the “andropause” was considered.

But information from the National Health Service (NHS) explained it is “misleading” to compare the andropause to the menopause.

The document itself said: “This policy is intended to make managers aware of menstruation/menopause related issues either for employees experiencing this natural stage of life or for those employees who are perhaps affected indirectly, for example, managers and colleagues or partners.

“The council is committed to creating an open and supportive culture and
wants employees to feel comfortable speaking about how their periods may be affecting them at work and able to ask for the support that they need to help them manage their symptoms.

Lack of awareness

“Menstruation/the menopause is often seen as a private matter and as a result there is sometimes a lack of awareness and lack of discussion in the workplace.

“By raising awareness this should help to create an environment where employees feel confident enough to raise issues about their symptoms and if necessary, ask for reasonable temporary adjustments at work.”

The draft policy explains that some individuals experience “little or no symptoms” while for others menstrual symptoms may affect their daily lives.

Period pain is not of itself a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.

The policy said: “It is possible that menstruation symptoms experienced by an employee may meet the statutory definition of a disability under the Act.

“While it is always good practice to agree adjustments with an employee who is experiencing menstruation symptoms, there may also be a statutory duty to consider reasonable adjustments under the Act if the severity of the symptoms amount to a disability.”

Councillors are asked to recommend that the draft policy goes in front of a full council meeting for ratification next month.

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Richard 1
Richard 1
19 days ago

It’s obviously a good idea for an employer to be open minded about people’s problems but validating wrong terminology like “male menopause” can only lead to confusion and wasted time.

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