Menstruation, menstrual health and menopause in the workplace standard
In May 2023, the BSI (UK National Standards Body), after extensive research and consultation with experts and the public, published a new standard (BS30416) which aims to help organisations better support employees experiencing menopause or menstruation.
It sets out practice advice for reasonable adjustments and strategies to sit alongside current well-being initiatives.
According to research by the Fawcett Society, an estimated 10% of employees leave employment as a direct result of symptoms associated with the menopause or menstruation.
The standard aims to provide examples of good practice by employers, including:
- considering the workplace culture to establish whether there is a general awareness of menstruation and menopause and whether employees are given opportunities for open conversations or to request support
- looking at whether line managers and HR managers are suitably trained or receive suitable resources to understand the potential impact of menstruation and menopause
- reviewing if the workplace environment is properly controlled and if there are facilities such as toilets or discrete changing rooms, or quiet recovery spaces easily accessible
- checking whether the relevant policies (well-being, D&I, performance management, sickness and absences, flexible working, etc.) consider menstruation and menopause
- looking at whether work designs enable some flexibility for an individual approach. Aspects could include scheduling, timings of breaks, comfort adjustments such as access to individual cooling or heating, and opportunities for sitting or stretching.
A full version of the guide is available to download from the BSI website, and it includes a toolkit for HR and line managers.
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