British Association of Dental Nurses introduces menopause policy

The British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN) has launched a menopause policy that is applicable to all dental practices from yesterday (23 March) in a bid to retain dental nurses.

The policy includes recommended support that dental practice employers can offer menopausal employees, such as having a menopause champion in the workplace that staff can speak to if they need support, creating a supportive environment and providing access to healthcare or counselling.

It also suggests considering a flexible working policy and start times, which would allow menopausal women to catch up on much needed rest as menopause symptoms can disturb sleep, as well as arranging menopause training workshops for management. This will ensure that all levels of management are trained on the effects of menopause, how to hold discussions with employees experiencing the condition, and on adjustments that can be made to lessen the effects on them.

According to the association, it has introduced the policy following a study in the British Dental Journal which was published last month (February). It found that 77% of the dental team are currently women, and among these, 35% of dental care professionals and 43% of dentists are currently within the age range affected by menopause.

BADN president Jacqui Elsden said: “Given the current recruitment and retention crisis in dental nursing, it is in the best interests of general dental practices to support their employees during this time, not to mention the fact that menopause related tribunals have doubled in recent years.

“However, the British Association of Dental Nurses recognises that this is still a difficult subject for many people and many employers may not know how to broach this subject in their practice. We have therefore produced this advice sheet with lists of relevant legislation, useful articles and websites and a specimen policy to break this taboo.”