Menopausal women in NHS England workforce to be offered flexible working | Menopause

Menopausal women working in NHS England will be able to work flexibly should they need to under new guidance.

Launching the first-ever national NHS guidance on menopause, the NHS England chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, has called on other employers to follow suit to help “break the stigma”.

She said that many employees are “silently suffering” and are either too embarrassed to broach the subject or experience a “lack of support” when they do.

No one should feel their only option is to “turn their back on their career” over menopausal symptoms, she added.

“It’s our responsibility as leaders to ensure this doesn’t happen any longer.”

Writing in the Telegraph she said she wanted to make sure that anyone working in the NHS should have access to the right support “to stay and thrive at work” during the menopause.

The guidance aims to boost awareness as well as support the introduction of practical measures including flexible working patterns – including lighter duties, fans to make temperatures more comfortable, cooler uniforms and staff training.

“Our guidance has been intentionally designed to be transferable to other workplaces too, so I hope organisations and women beyond the NHS can also benefit,” she said.

“The NHS is the biggest employer of women in the country – one million work for the NHS and up to 260,000 could be approaching or going through menopause, and for many, this can be a difficult transition,” she added.

With about 130,000 vacancies, retaining staff will be a “key part of our future workforce plan” to help with the “challenges ahead for the NHS”, she said.

“Menopause is not a health condition, it’s a stage of life, and I want all women facing this transition in the NHS to have access to the right support to stay in and thrive at work,” she said.