The British Standards Institute (BSI) has recently released a ground-breaking workplace standard, BS 30416, focused on supporting employees going through menopause and menstruation. This new standard aims to assist organizations in creating an inclusive and supportive environment for individuals experiencing these natural life stages. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of the standard and how it can help businesses retain experienced employees while prioritizing their well-being.
Why is this Standard Important?
Research conducted by the Fawcett Society suggests that up to 10% of women experiencing menopause have left the workforce due to related symptoms. For those with more severe symptoms, this figure rises to 25%. These losses in productivity due to menopause are estimated to exceed $150 billion globally each year. As more women choose to stay in the workforce for longer periods, addressing the needs of employees going through menopause becomes increasingly crucial.
Key Recommendations from BS 30416
Workplace Culture: The standard recommends assessing workplace culture to gauge the general awareness of menstruation and menopause. Encouraging open conversations and providing opportunities for employees to request support can foster a more inclusive and understanding environment.
Training for Managers: Line managers and HR managers should receive suitable training and resources to understand the potential impact of menstruation and menopause on their employees. This knowledge equips them to provide appropriate support and accommodations.
Physical Environment: Organizations should review the workplace environment to ensure it is properly controlled. Facilities such as accessible toilets, discrete changing rooms, and quiet recovery spaces can greatly contribute to employee comfort and well-being.
Policy Considerations: Relevant policies, including those related to well-being, diversity and inclusion, performance management, sickness and absences, and flexible working, should incorporate considerations for menstruation and menopause. This integration helps create an inclusive work environment that accommodates the needs of all employees.
Flexible Work Design: Enabling flexibility in work design is crucial. Employers should consider scheduling adjustments, timing of breaks, comfort accommodations (such as access to individual cooling or heating), and opportunities for sitting or stretching to support employees during menopause or menstruation.
Flexibility and Individual Needs
BS 30416 acknowledges that the experiences of menstruation and menopause can vary significantly among individuals. It emphasizes that not all employees may seek support from their employers. The standard provides flexible guidance to allow organizations to adapt and cater to the unique needs and preferences of their employees.
The launch of the workplace standard BS 30416 by the British Standards Institute (BSI) marks a significant step in supporting employees going through menopause and menstruation. By implementing the practical recommendations outlined in the standard, organizations can create a more inclusive and supportive workplace culture. This not only helps retain experienced and talented individuals but also improves overall employee well-being.
At Seagrave French, we recognize the importance of supporting our employees through all stages of their lives. By following the guidelines set by BS 30416, we strive to provide a workplace environment that acknowledges and accommodates the needs of our employees experiencing menopause or menstruation. Contact us to learn more about how our dedicated team of accountants can support your business and its employees.
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