The Chair asked members if they would agree to change the Agenda order so that the Menopause In the Workplace Guidance could be presented and discussed first. Members agreed to this.
The Diversity and Inclusion Manager introduced the report which set out the rationale for producing guidance to ensure employees going through the menopause were fully supported in the workplace. World Menopause Day was approaching and the subject was in the national press. Like most local councils, Slough Borough Council employed more women than men, at around 62% of the permanent workforce. The menopause was a workforce health and well-being issue, and as an employer SBC could make adjustments in the workplace to help and support staff.
A technical query was raised on the Version Control labelling detailed on page 24 of the report, and whether this was being applied correctly. The Diversity and Inclusion Manager noted and agreed to check on the labelling.
Other questions raised were on reasonable adjustments and whether statistics were available for how many staff in Slough Borough Council had resigned or whose work was affected by menopause symptoms, and on staff training. The officer explained that although the menopause was not a protected characteristic, any organisation had a duty to make reasonable adjustments where they could, although there was no specific budget for this. On statistics the Diversity and Inclusion Manager explained that collecting data was not always easy due to the sensitive nature of the issue, and the approach suggested was about asking colleagues what would work best for them. The first stage was education and raising awareness for all staff around the policy rather than formal training. Other possible support could be peer-lead or informal support, and feedback would be sought from staff on this.
At the conclusion of discussions the Chair and members stated their approval that the Council was being proactive on this issue.
Resolved – That the Committee reviewed and approved the Menopause In the Workplace Guidance.