Council should have support policy for female staff during menopause, says Shauna Cusack

Thu, 24/10/2019 - 16:22 -- Editor

SDLP Councillor Shauna Cusack is calling on Council to introduce a menopause policy to help support its women workers and is encouraging other organisations and employers to do the same. Cusack states ‘ given that up to 80 per cent of women experiencing this natural transition are currently in work, many of whom are suffering silently due to fear or embarrassment, it’s time this issue was addressed openly. I was shocked to see how little research has been done into this matter. The statistics I did uncover revealed how much the symptoms of menopause and peri menopause can negatively affect women in the workplace and how little assistance is provided by employers by means of understanding and support. The menopause can cause women to lose confidence in themselves through symptoms such as depression, anxiety, hot flushes, brain fog, exhaustion and much more, all resulting from the associated hormonal changes of the stage. This has caused many to feel overwhelmed enough to consider either cutting hours or stopping work completely. As a Council we can dictate and affect the policies of our organisation, therefore this is why, through a formal motion, I am asking for the introduction of supportive services for our staff. Given there is currently no legislation which requires a company to adopt a menopause policy, I am hoping this proposal, if accepted, act as an example to other employers in our City and District and encourages many open conversations on a subject which has been too long ignored and avoided. Women are an incredible asset to any workforce and we should be doing everything in our power to enable and empower them to stay there. ‘