Co-op updates staff menopause policy

Co-op increases pay for 33,000 employeesRetail chain the Co-op has enhanced its menopause policy with a series of new initiatives to help its more than 62,000 staff access support in the workplace.

The business recently carried out a study with women across UK workplaces, which revealed that almost half (47%) said dedicated support for the menopause in the workplace should be made available, yet that 95% of managers had never received official training on how to support perimenopausal employees and or those with the condition.

As a result of these findings, the retailer has launched a menopause support guide, which is publicly available to other employers for free, today (4 April) for its 4,500 managers across food stores, funeral homes, legal services and insurance businesses, so managers can better help staff.

The guide, which has been created in partnership with the unions Usdaw and Unite and colleague networks, will help managers understand why assisting those who are experiencing the menopause is the right thing to do. It will help them to understand how the condition can impact staff and the role they can play in being supportive of others.

Furthermore, Co-op has signed up as a founding partner to GenM, an organisation that helps brands recognise and respond to the needs of the menopause, and has also signed the Menopause in the Workplace pledge, which was launched by health charity Wellbeing of Women.

Helen Webb, chief people and services officer at Co-op, said that it is time to stop viewing the physical and mental impacts felt by those experiencing the perimenopause and menopause as just a women’s issue.

“We need to work together across business, government and society to end the stigma, so that no one else faces this alone. That’s why we’re proud to release our dedicated menopause support guide for managers as well as becoming a founding partner with GenM and signing the Women in the Workplace pledge to go even further in making positive changes in the workplace,” she added.