The menopause – UNISON will get this covered

Brenda Aitchison
Brenda Aitchison

The work done by South Lanarkshire Branch in developing the first comprehensive menopause policy in Scotland was highlighted at Conference as delegates backed a call for UNISON to lead the way in campaigning for decent workplace practices to support women going through the menopause.

The national union has already produced guidance on the menopause on work. As a trade union made up overwhelmingly of women members, UNISON will build on this work.

Renfrewshire’s call to develop a “Menopause – We got this covered” Charter was backed as part of a wide-ranging composite and the union will take this forward and will work with branches regions and other groups to develop good practice in this area.

Speaking in support, Brenda Aitchison pointed to the numbers of high-profile women speaking on the menopause in the media this past year.

However, she added that these women have far better paid employment than our UNISON women workers, access to hormone treatments, private health and well-being consultants.

“What our over a million women members need is for us to develop a “Menopause – We got this covered Charter” to highlight and offer advice on good practices to help during the menopause,” said Brenda.

She called for those Branches which have successfully managed to get Menopause Policies in place to be congratulated and said that this is one of her own Branch priorities this year.

Brenda added, “When we took this motion to our AGM in February for approval at one of our meetings we had a large number of home care workers.

“The age profile in this group is weighted towards the over 40’s, however some of the women couldn’t believe we were discussing this type of subject at our National Delegate Conference.

“We said it is a Health and Safety issue and something that will affect all women at some point in their working lives,” added Brenda. “They just hadn’t thought about it in those terms before. They felt it was just another thing for women to get on with.

“If we can help to make those workers’ working lives more tolerable during menopause, then that is what we should do,” urged Brenda.

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