News Scotland pledges to become endometriosis-friendly employer

Publishing organisation News Scotland, part of News UK, which publishes titles including The Sun and The Times, has made a commitment to become an endometriosis-friendly employer, in a bid to support the heath and wellbeing of female employees.

The campaign to enlist organisations to support employees with endometriosis, a long-term chronic pain condition affecting one in 10 menstruating women, was launched by charity organisation Endometriosis UK in June 2019.

Other employers that have so far pledged their commitment to becoming endometriosis-friendly include Standard Life Aberdeen, Smart Energy GB and Cloud Brewery.

Endometriosis UK aims to encourage employers to create workplaces in which employees with endometriosis can thrive, and to raise awareness and decrease stigma about menstrual conditions.

By signing up to the scheme, organisations make the commitment to introduce policies and initiatives that aim to: show leadership and management support; tackle stigma and change culture; and use communications to raise awareness around the condition and practical adjustments that can help.

On a practical level, this might mean reviewing and updating existing policies, such as those relating to flexible working, to support those with the condition, or implementing a new endometriosis support policy entirely. In addition, employers are encouraged to provide managers with information and guidance around the condition.

Endometriosis UK also asks that organisations appoint an endometriosis champion, which might be an HR professional, someone with personal experience of the condition, or an individual who is particularly passionate about inclusion in the workplace.

Richard Bogie, managing director of News Scotland and Ireland, said: “I am delighted that News Scotland has committed to being an endometriosis-friendly employer. All our senior team and I fully support the scheme and ensuring our workplace is inclusive and supportive. I hope that our commitment will encourage other businesses to follow our lead.”

Emma Cox, chief executive of Endometriosis UK, said: “10% of women have endometriosis. With an average time to diagnosis of 7.5 years and a cost of £8.2 billion per year to the UK economy in terms of lost work, treatment and healthcare costs, the potential impact on work and employment is clear.

“The [endometriosis-friendly employer] scheme enables employers to work towards improving support for those with this chronic, long-term condition. Employers [that] sign up will be helping break the taboo and stigma around endometriosis and menstrual conditions, and developing work environments where all staff are comfortable talking about possible practical adjustments that could be of benefit.”