Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire (BCH) police forces have been jointly accredited as Menopause Friendly employers in recognition of their high standards and proven practices that embrace the menopause in the workplace.
The national, industry-recognised Menopause Friendly Accreditation (MFA) has been awarded to five police forces to date and is testament to their ongoing commitment to promoting awareness, understanding and support of the menopause.
To achieve accreditation, employers must evidence six key areas, namely culture, policies and practices, training, engagement, facilities, and evaluation.
Menopause friendly measures implemented across the three forces to date include support groups, workplace adjustments to enable people to continue working through the menopause, training, events and the publication of clear menopause policies and guidance for colleagues and managers.
Volunteers from across the three forces have trained as menopause champions to provide compassionate, confidential advice to those who need it, and further support is available via an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).
BCH menopause lead ACO Cat Hemmings said: “I am delighted that Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire police forces have secured the Menopause Friendly Accreditation. On behalf of everyone involved in this extensive work, I would like to say how proud we all are.
“The three forces are strongly committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion in all areas of our work. Central to this is enabling everyone to bring their whole selves to work and ensuring they have equal opportunities to reach their full potential.
“Menopause is a life event that our policies, processes and procedures need to take account of. Whether directly experiencing the menopause, working alongside or managing someone who is, or engaging with a member of the public who may have symptoms, it is imperative that we provide support, raise awareness, dispel myths and normalise conversations. Achieving accreditation is testament to each force’s commitment and provides the foundation on which we will continue to build.”
Most people will be affected by the menopause – whether directly or indirectly – at some point in their lives. While menopausal symptoms traditionally appear when people are in their 40s and 50s, they can happen sooner due to health issues or surgery. It is also common for people from some ethnic groups, such as those in the Black community, to experience symptoms at a younger age. Menopausal symptoms will affect everyone differently and with varied intensity. Removing judgement and opening lines of communication will ensure that the right support can be offered at the right time.
As well as helping attract and retain female staff in support of a diverse and inclusive workforce, the Menopause Friendly Accreditation is helping the three forces continue conversations within their male colleagues to encourage understanding, allyship and to provide them with support when their teams, friends and family members are affected.
The Menopause Friendly Accreditation was established by Henpicked: Menopause in The Workplace and is the only accreditation that sets clear, national standards that must be met. It is considered by many as a mark of excellence for menopause in the workplace.
Deborah Garlick, CEO of Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace said: “The positive impact that Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire police forces are making through being menopause friendly is fantastic to see and this accreditation is absolutely justified. Particularly heartening to know is that not only will the forces’ colleagues and their families benefit from having extra insight and support around menopause, but they can also cascade this empathy and understanding to their local communities and members of the public.”
To find out more about The Menopause Friendly Accreditation, visit www.menopausefriendly.co.uk