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Teachers should not have to feel they must hide symptoms of the menopause and employers must make adjustments to a condition that affects all women, members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union will hear today.

At its Annual Conference in Belfast, the Union will debate a motion calling for menopause policies to be put in place in all schools and to raise awareness among employers and school leaders.

Employers are still failing to recognise the impact which the menopause can have on many women and schools are often ill equipped to make reasonable adjustments to allow women to manage their symptoms.

The motion says many employers have been too slow to recognise how the menopause affects teachers and that many women feel they must hide their symptoms and are less likely to ask for adjustments to be made in their school or college.

It calls for all workplaces to “examine the Management Regulations of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Legislation in relation to the physical working in schools and colleges, with specific emphasis on Reasonable Adjustments and the development of a policy to provide and maintain safe working spaces which create and sustain healthy physical working environments.”

It goes on to demand such policies are implemented so “the current culture whereby women feel that they must hide their symptoms is eradicated.”

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“Many employers have been far too slow to recognise how the menopause can affect teachers. This has often meant teachers have felt they have had to hide their symptoms

“This has to stop and employers need to ensure they have policies in place which recognise this as an issue affecting all women and reasonable adjustments can and must be made to ensure teachers are supported.

“Despite it being a recognised occupational health issue, the menopause is still too often shrouded by employers in ignorance and embarrassment, leaving women unable to get the support and adjustments they need.

Justin McCamphill, NASUWT National Official Northern Ireland, said:

“The majority of women will experience some or all of the symptoms of the menopause at some point in their lives and the NASUWT believes that, as teaching is a predominately a female profession, addressing the menopause should be a high priority in all workplaces.

“We need to break down the taboos about the menopause and ensure it is on the agenda in every school or college so that no woman feels she has to hide her symptoms or is denied the reasonable adjustments that may help them to do their job in dignity.”


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