Northern Irish Civil Service introduces menopause policy

The Northern Irish Civil Service has launched a menopause policy to support its female employees.

As females make up 50% of the 24,000-strong Northern Ireland Civil Service workforce, and with 55% aged over 45, the employer recognised that a number of its employees are likely to be affected by the menopause.

Its aim with the policy is to raise awareness and understanding of menopause and outline the help available, ensuring that staff are supported to cope with the challenges and impact of the condition. It also plans to equip managers to provide assistance so women can continue in employment and have their needs taken into account.

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Finance minister Conor Murphy (pictured right), whose department has responsibility for HR for the Civil Service, said: “We want to ensure our staff are supported to cope with the challenges and impact of the menopause.  I hope this new menopause policy will create an environment where female employees feel confident to raise issues and ask for reasonable adjustments if necessary.  Equipping managers to provide support will ensure women can continue in employment and have their needs taken into account.”

Jayne Brady (pictured centre), head of the Civil Service, added: “This policy builds on the Civil Service’s efforts to support women going through the menopause. We are already seeing the benefit of increased awareness with departments establishing support groups for staff. This is only a first step for us as we want to continue to build on this progress through further guidance and the roll out of training to support the implementation of this policy.”