NHS England latest employer to back Menopause Workplace Pledge

The NHS employs 1.3 million people and more than 75% of them are women

15th Jun 2022

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NHS England has become the latest employer to sign the Menopause Workplace Pledge, after The Civil Service and House of Commons backed the campaign over the past week.

Signing the pledge is the next latest step in the national health provider’s commitment to becoming a more supportive organisation towards colleagues when it comes to the menopause.

The Menopause Workplace Pledge, which is led by the charity Wellbeing of Women, the campaign is drumming up support from all employers across all sectors up and down the country. To date, over 1,000 employers have signed the pledge.

Last year, NHS England published an internal menopause policy which includes specific guidance on how line managers can support their staff experiencing the menopause, whether that's allowing flexible or home-based working or making changes to the work environment, such as cooling the temperature or ensuring easy access to cold water and bathroom facilities.

Just as important is the need to normalise conversations about menopause support in the workplace.

In a joint blog post, Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer and CEO of Wellbeing of Women, Janet Lindsay, write: “While the menopause isn’t often talked about at work, it’s where people can find their symptoms most difficult to manage.

"For far too long, the perimenopause and menopause have been shrouded in taboo, and as a consequence many women are left struggling with debilitating symptoms on their own.

“It is therefore essential that the NHS takes action now in order to retain our extraordinary staff. By making workplaces supportive when it comes to the menopause, we can help employees' wellbeing, ensure an inclusive workforce and increase productivity.”

Commenting on the announcement today, Acting Chief People Officer for the NHS, Em Wilkinson-Brice said:

“The NHS is committed to supporting all our NHS people to stay well and so I’m extremely pleased to be signing the Menopause Workplace Pledge on behalf of NHS England and NHS Improvement.

“Three out of four people going through the menopause will experience symptoms, and for one in four these will be severe and impact on their day-to-day life. As someone going through the menopause myself, I am acutely aware of the impact it can have.

“This pledge demonstrates our commitment to supporting our incredible staff at all stages of their life and career and to delivering on our People Promise, which sets out in the words of our people what will most improve their working experience and make the NHS the workplace we all want it to be.”

Mr Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, signed the pledge on behalf of the House of Commons earlier this week. The Civil Serviced joined, with support from Secretaries of States and high-level ministers backing the campaign, in a special event last week.

Wellbeing for Women, in collaboration with Hello! Magazine, is calling on employers to sign the Menopause Workplace Pledge and support their colleagues going through the menopause.

Find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved.

Supported by Bupa.