New menopause policy for Gt. Yarmouth Borough Council

Great Yarmouth is “blazing a trail” for other councils with new support for employees going through the menopause, UNISON says today.

UNISON and Great Yarmouth Borough Council have agreed a new menopause policy ensuring that both staff and managers know how to deal with the physical and psychological effects of the menopause.

It encourages employees to talk to their managers about health problems associated with the menopause so that the Council can make workplace adjustments to overcome them such as allowing additional rest breaks or considering flexible working hours.

Managers will also be given training on how to support staff through the menopause, while work is underway on developing menopause forums aimed at both men and women on increasing understanding of how the menopause affects both sexes.

The policy came about when Pauline Curtin, a customer services assistant at the Council and UNISON member, was going through the menopause and realised how little understanding and support there was for menopausal women.

Pauline Curtin said: “I decided that it was important to have a policy and a support network in place for others so I took the fight for a menopause policy and better understanding of the symptoms to the CEO and human resources.This resulted in the development of not only a menopause policy but also menopause workshops to inform managers how to assist staff dealing with the effects on a daily basis.

We are also spearheading menopause forums aimed at females and males to give support and increase their understanding and knowledge as the menopause affects both sexes.

I’m proud and delighted at how positive this has been. It means that my colleagues at Great Yarmouth Borough Council will be able to readily seek help and support during what can be a very anxious and distressing time.”

UNISON Norfolk County branch secretary Jonathan Dunning said: “Great Yarmouth should be congratulated for blazing a trail in local government, ensuring that women get the support they need going through the menopause, especially when so few local authorities have a dedicated menopause policy.

Well done to Pauline for working so hard alongside her union reps and the Council to improve the lives of her fellow workers at Great Yarmouth.”