Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School


Produced by Schools’ HR

Tel: 0151 233 3901

This policy has been consulted centrally and fully agreed by trade
unions. To change any aspect of this policy at a school level, the
relevant body must consult appropriately with school staff and their
recognised trade union representatives.


Version Date Action
Version 1 19 Oct 2022 Agreed at JCC

The Legislative Setting
Rationale for policy
Policy Aims
Key Principles
Definitions and Background
Symptoms of Menopause
Menopause Symptoms in Other Circumstances
Post Menopause
10. Roles and Responsibilities
Members of staff
Line Managers
Occupational Health
11. Risk Assessment
Appendix 1 – Supporting a colleague through the menopause – a Manager’s
Appendix 2 – Menopause Advice Sheet – A guide for staff seeking extra
Appendix 3 – Template Risk Assessment
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School is committed to providing an
inclusive and supportive working environment for everyone who works here. As
a school that is committed to the health and well-being of its workforce, Our
Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School recognises that staff may need
additional consideration, support and adjustments during this transitional time
before, during and after the menopause and aims to ensure that staff are
treated according to their circumstances and needs.
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School is committed to ensuring that
individuals feel confident in discussing menopausal symptoms and asking for
support and adjustments in order to continue with their role within the
Menopause is a natural part of every woman’s life, and it isn’t always an easy
transition. The right support can make the menopause much better to
manage. Whilst every woman does not suffer with symptoms, Our Lady
Immaculate Catholic Primary School recognises that supporting those who do
will improve their experience at work. Menopause should not be ‘hidden’. As an
Organisation that puts well-being at the heart of its ethos we want everyone to
understand what menopause is, and to be able to talk about it openly, without
embarrassment. This is not just an issue for women, men should be aware too.
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School is committed to ensuring that all
individuals are treated fairly and with dignity and respect in their working
The Legislative Setting
The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) requires employers to ensure the
health, safety and welfare of all workers. Under the Act, employers are
required to do risk assessments under the Management Regulations which
should include specific risks to menopausal women if they are employed.
The Equality Act (2010) prohibits discrimination against people on the
grounds of certain ‘protected characteristics’ including sex, age and disability.
Note that conditions linked to the menopause may meet the definition of an
‘impairment’ under the Equality Act and require reasonable adjustments.
This policy sets out the guidelines for members of staff and managers on
providing the right support to manage menopausal symptoms at work. It is not
contractual, and does not form part of the terms and conditions of employment – however, if the School wishes to amend the Menopause Policy, staff will be
consulted on proposed changes via the recognised Trade Unions.
4. Aims
To create an environment where individuals feel confident enough to raise
issues about their symptoms and ask for support and adjustments at work.
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School is committed to ensuring that
conditions in the workplace do not make menopausal symptoms worse and
that appropriate adjustments and support are put in place.
Reduce absenteeism due to menopausal symptoms.
Assure women that we are a responsible employer, committed to supporting
their needs during menopause.
Key Principles
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School has a positive attitude to the
menopause/ perimenopause and will work proactively to make adjustments
where necessary to support individuals experiencing the menopause and to
ensure the workplace does not make their symptoms worse.
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School will ensure everyone
understands what menopause is, can confidently have good conversations,
and are clear on Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School‘s policy and
practices, supported by the Health and Well Being Committee if appropriate.
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School will educate and inform
managers about the potential symptoms of menopause, and how they can
support women at work.
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School recognises that the
menopause/perimenopause is a very individual experience and that people
can be affected in different ways and to different degrees, and therefore
different levels and types of support and adjustments may be needed
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School will take the specific needs of
individuals into consideration (including stress risk assessments).
Definitions and Background
Menopause comes from two Greek words men (month) and pausis (cessation
or stop) Literal meaning is therefore the last menstrual period that occurs
The menopause is part of the natural ageing process for women, although it
can be brought on as a result of other medical conditions or certain surgical
interventions. It refers to the point in time when menstruation has ceased for
twelve consecutive months.
After a woman has not had a period for a year, this is considered to be ‘post
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School recognises that a proportion of
its workers will be working through and well beyond the menopause.
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School recognises that the menopause
affects all women, and it can often indirectly affect their partners, families and
colleagues as well.
The peri-menopause is the period of hormonal change leading up to the
menopause and can often last four to five years although for some women it
may continue for many more years or for others may last just a few months. It
varies greatly in different individuals.
During the time of the peri-menopause individuals may begin to experience
symptoms due to changes in their hormone levels. These symptoms may vary
in degree between different individuals. Due to the fact that they may be still
having regular periods at the onset of the symptoms, many individuals do not
always realise that they are experiencing the peri-menopause and may not
understand what is causing their symptoms; and can be a barrier to accessing
The menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. In the UK, the
average age is 51, but it can happen much earlier. Many women experience
the menopause before 45 (early menopause) and a significant number of
women experience the menopause before the age of 40 (premature
menopause). Some women experience a medical/surgical menopause which
can occur suddenly when the ovaries are damaged or removed by specific
treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery.
People from the non-binary, transgender and intersex communities may also
experience menopausal symptoms.
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School recognise that for many
reasons; peoples’ individual experiences of the menopause may differ greatly.
Some people seek medical advice and treatment for the symptoms of the peri
menopause (the time leading up to menopause when a woman may
experience changes, such as irregular periods or other menopausal
symptoms) and menopause (defined biologically as reaching a natural end to
reproductive life).
A common form of treatment is known as hormone replacement therapy
(HRT). Many women find these treatments helpful for alleviating symptoms,
but HRT is not suitable or appropriate for all women. Some people using HRT
may experience side effects which may also require adjustments in the
Symptoms of Menopause
It is important to note that not every woman will notice every symptom, or even
need help or support. However, 75% of women do experience some
symptoms, and 25% could be classed as severe.
Symptoms can manifest both physically and psychologically including, but not
exclusively, hot flushes, poor concentration, headaches, panic attacks,
heavy/light periods, anxiety, and loss of confidence. Some women also
experience difficulty sleeping. Other symptoms include vaginal symptoms,
urinary problems migraines and headaches, reduced muscle mass, Skin
irritation, palpitations – heartbeats that suddenly become more noticeable.
These symptoms (which can vary in degree) may be experienced even though
menstruation continues so women who are still having regular periods may not
realise that they are experiencing the perimenopause and not understand the
cause of their symptoms.
Menopause Symptoms in Other Circumstances
There are other circumstances in which symptoms may be experienced:
Whilst menopause is usually a process involving gradual change, it can
sometimes be sudden and acute following serious illness, medication or
surgery. Sudden menopause tends to experience more severe symptoms and
may require treatment and/or post-operative care to manage further problems.
Younger women undergoing treatments for conditions such as endometriosis
(estimated to affect around 1 in 10 women of reproductive age) and infertility
(affecting around 1 in 7 couples), may experience menopausal symptoms
whilst receiving treatment. Surgical and medical treatments as part of an
individual’s gender transition can result in menopause symptoms.
Post Menopause
Symptoms continue on average for four years from the last period, and can
continue for up to 12 years.
There is potentially an increased risk of certain conditions, including heart
disease and osteoporosis (brittle bones) during post-menopause because of
lower levels of certain hormones. These risks are higher for those who have
had an early or premature menopause.
10. Roles and Responsibilities
Menopause is a very personal experience and can affect people at work in
various ways. This means that different levels of support and assistance may
be needed at what can be a very difficult time. Attitudes can vary from
empathy and understanding, through to insensitivity and “jokey”, to a complete
lack of sympathy.
Members of staff:
• All staff are responsible for:
• Taking a personal responsibility to look after their health.
• Being open and honest in conversations with managers/HR and
Occupational Health.
• If a member of staff is unable to speak to their line manager, or if their
line manager is not supporting them, they can speak to their Union, or
the staff health and wellbeing team .
• Contributing to a respectful and productive working environment.
• Being willing to help and support their colleagues.
• Understanding any necessary adjustments their colleagues are receiving
as a result of their menopausal symptoms.
Line Managers
The most important and valuable thing a manager can do is listen and
wherever possible, respond sympathetically to any requests for adjustments at
People who are experiencing the menopause (whether directly or indirectly)
may need sympathetic and appropriate support from their line manager. As
with any longstanding health-related conditions, this support can make a major
difference to how they deal with the menopause, enabling them to continue
working well and productively.
You will need to maintain confidentiality in handling health information about
the menopause.
Any specific needs identified (including reasonable adjustments that are
agreed) should be recorded and reviewed regularly.
All line managers should:
• Familiarise themselves with the Menopause Policy and Guidance
• Should be aware of the potential impact of menopause on performance
If someone’s performance suddenly dips, it is worth considering whether
the menopause may be playing a part in this
• Be ready and willing to have open discussions about menopause,
appreciating the personal nature of the conversation, and treating the
discussion sensitively and professionally
• On request of the employee, complete a risk assessment to identify
potential issues and their remedies (A RA template is attached)
• Ensure ongoing dialogue and review dates
• Ensure that all agreed adjustments are adhered to
Where adjustments are unsuccessful, or if symptoms are proving more
problematic, the Line Manager may:
• Discuss a referral to Occupational Health for further advice
• Refer the employee to Occupational Health
• Review Occupational Health advice, and implement any
recommendations, where reasonably practical
• Update the action plan, and continue to review
Occupational Health
The role of Occupational Health is to:
• Carry out an holistic assessment of individuals as to whether or not
menopause may be contributing to symptoms/wellbeing, providing advice
and guidance in line with up-to-date research.
• Signpost to appropriate sources of help and advice.
11. Risk Assessment
In order to consider the specific needs of individuals going through the
menopause and ensure that the working environment will not make their
symptoms worse. The risk assessment will assist in identifying any potential
adjustments which may be required.
Particular issues to consider include temperature and ventilation, welfare
issues (including toilet facilities and access to cold water) should also be
Appendix 1
Supporting a colleague through the menopause – a Manager’s guide
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School recognises that every woman is
different, and it is, therefore, not feasible to set out a structured set of specific
If an employee wishes to speak about their symptoms, or just to talk about how
they are feeling (they may not recognise themselves that they are symptomatic), or if
a male employee wishes to speak about a family member, please ensure that
• Allow adequate time to have the conversation.
• Find an appropriate room to preserve confidentiality.
• Encourage them to speak openly and honestly.
• Suggest ways in which they can be supported (see symptoms below) –
hand out the Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School Menopause
Advice Sheet (appendix 2).
• Agree actions, and how to implement them.
• Agree if other members of the team should be informed, and by whom.
• Ensure that designated time is allowed for a follow up meeting. Do not rely
on quick queries during chance encounters in the corridor or staff room.
Symptoms Support
Symptoms can manifest both physically and psychologically, including, but not
exhaustively or exclusively; support and potential control measure for women
should be considered as detailed below:
Hot Flushes
• Request temperature control for their work area, such as a fan on their
desk (where possible a USB connected desk fan to ensure
environmentally friendly) or moving near a window, or away from a heat
• Easy access to drinking water.
• Encourage use of the staff room for breaks.
Heavy/light Periods
• Have permanent access to washroom facilities.
• Ensure sanitary products are available in ladies toilets.
• Understand that on occasions there may be a need for a member of staff to
go home to access personal care
Urogenital Problems
This will include an increased frequency and urgency to pass urine, with a
need to access toilet facilities more frequently and to drink more fluids.
Suitable adjustments may include:
• Providing ready access to suitable toilet facilities.
• Providing ready access to suitable washing facilities.
• Allowing more frequent breaks to go to the toilet including procedures
for during lesson times.
• Providing easy access to drinking water.
• Have ease of access to fresh drinking water;
• Use the staffroom as a quiet place to work when not teaching or when
time out is required
• Have time out to take medication if needed.
Low Mood
• Agree time out from others, when required, without needing to ask for
permission with due consideration for safeguarding;
• Identify a ‘buddy’ for the colleague to talk to – away from the work area;
• Identify a ‘time out space’ to be able to go to ‘clear their head’;
Loss of Confidence
• Ensure there are regular Personal Development Discussions;
• Have regular protected time with their manager to discuss any issues;
• On a case-by-case basis agree the best way of supporting the member
of staff.
Poor Concentration
• Discuss if there are times of the day when concentration is better or worse,
• Review task allocation and workload;
• Provide books for lists, action boards, or other memory-assisting
• Offer quiet space to work;
• Identify a ‘buddy’ for the colleague to talk to – away from their work area –
ask the Heath and Well Being Committee if appropriate for support
• Be able to have time away from their work to undertake relaxation
techniques with due consideration for safeguarding;
• Encourage your colleague to undertake mindfulness activities such as
breathing exercises, or going for a walk.
Panic Attacks
• Agree time out from others, when required, without needing to ask for
• Identify a ‘buddy’ outside of work area;
• Undertake mindfulness activities such as breathing exercises, or going for a
Muscular Aches and Bone and Joint Pain
For individuals experiencing these symptoms, moving and handling or
adopting static postures may be more uncomfortable. Suitable adjustments
may include:
• Making any necessary temporary adjustments through review of risk
assessments and work schedules.
Discuss whether the member of staff has visited their GP. Depending on the
discussion, this may be the next step suggested, particularly if the areas of
difficulty are sleeping, panic attacks or anxiety. If they have visited their GP,
and are being supported by them, it may be helpful at this point to make an
Occupational Health referral to give specific advice regarding the workplace.
Appendix 2: Menopause Advice Sheet – A guide for staff seeking extra
Don’t Suffer in Silence …
Advice and support.
Whilst some women go through this natural stage without any requirement for
intervention, others experience more difficult symptoms. These can pose
significant challenges to daily living, leading to the need to seek help from a
healthcare practitioner or to consider self-help alternatives. If you are
struggling to cope please seek a professional opinion from your GP,
Occupational Health
Don’t wait. It is all too common for women to feel they must simply ‘put up’ with
menopausal symptoms as a part of life, but if they are affecting you, there are
things you can do, and support available. There is no need to wait until
symptoms feel unbearable.
Prepare for your appointment. It’s easier for your doctor to understand what’s
going on if you provide them with all the information. That may sound obvious, but
blood tests to say where you are on the menopause transition aren’t always
available or accurate – your hormones can fluctuate daily during this time. So,
your doctor will be thinking about what to recommend for you, based on your
Keep a list of your symptoms, your menstrual cycle, hot flushes, how you’re
feeling, and any changes you’ve noticed. Write them down, and take them to
your appointment. Your doctor will thank you for it, and it’s more likely that
together, you’ll find the right solution faster. And, if you have any preferences
about how you manage your symptoms, tell them that too – for example, if
you’d like to try hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or not.
Ask the receptionist which doctor is best to talk to about menopause. They are
often the font of all knowledge at a surgery, and can help you find the best person to
speak to – it might not be your usual GP, it could be someone who has had special
training in the subject.
Ask for a longer appointment. If you don’t think your standard appointment will
be long enough, try to book a double appointment, as some surgeries do offer
Take your partner or a friend with you. The chances are, you spend your life
supporting others and, during menopause, it’s your turn to ask them for
support. Your partner, or a friend, will know how the symptoms are affecting
you. They could support you at the appointment, and also find out how they can
continue supporting you.
What to expect from your doctor
There are certain things a GP should – and should not – do during your
They should:
• Talk to you about your lifestyle, and how to manage both your symptoms,
and your longer-term health;
• Offer advice on hormone replacement therapy and other non-medical
• Talk to you about the safety and effectiveness of any treatment.
They should not:
• Tell you that it’s just that time of your life. Yes, menopause is a natural
stage, but please don’t feel that means you should have to put up with
every symptom without help;
• Tell you they don’t prescribe HRT. It’s up to you what you want to try,
and for them to say whether it could be right for you, depending on your
medical history;
• Impose unnecessary time restrictions, such as they will only prescribe
this once, or for a year or two. This is an ongoing conversation, and if
your symptoms persist, you will still need help to manage them.
Remember, your GP is there to help and support you, and you should feel
comfortable and confident in talking to them about your symptoms, and any
help you need. Don’t think you have to struggle through menopause when
there is help and support available.

Appendix 3 – Risk Assessment

A Date: School: Team: Location:
Review Date: Ref: Assessor: Manager:

7 Assessment of Risk for: Generic Risk Assessment – Menopause

8 List Hazards Here List Groups of
People at Risk
List Existing Controls Risk
Level Ser
1 All Hazards Listed All women employees
between ages of 45
and 55
Also women in
menopause, peri-
menopause or
Any additional medical advice specific to each woman worker will be taken into account when
implementing controls.
Time off with pay will be given for medical appointments made on the advice of a GP.
Support system are in place to allow for breaks and assistance at short notice.
Consideration to be given to pre-existing medical conditions which may be affected by

2 Manual Handling As above All heavy moving and handling activities are to be avoided.
The extent of manual handling is reduced to within the personal capabilities of the individual
worker (initial consultation made and individual capability regularly monitored).
Susceptibility to injury, associated with manual handling, will be monitored during menopause
Instruction provided in correct handling technique.

3 Posture
e.g. standing or sitting for
long periods, twisting,
As above The need for long periods of standing is avoided; seating provided at workstation. The
combination of sitting and standing working positions is encouraged.
Liverpool City Council –Menopause Policy

stooping or reaching
Increased frequency of rest breaks is encouraged, allowing for additional rest and welfare
requirements (access to toilet facilities and allowing for intake of additional fluids and food).
DSE self-assessment should be reviewed during time of menopause, to ensure manager is
made aware of any potential problems with the workstation set-up etc.
Requirement to twist, stoop and reach upwards is reduced to within the personal capabilities of
the individual employee (initial consultation made and individual capability regularly monitored).
Backache associated with poor posture will be monitored during menopause and regular
movement is encouraged to maintain healthy circulation.

4 Working Hours As above Long working hours are avoided and working hour’s adjustment arrangements are in place.
5 Extreme Temperatures As above Exposure to high / low temperature working environments is kept to a minimum and
appropriate clothing is provided where required ……………………….. please detail any specific
Uniforms (where provided) to be made from appropriate materials (natural fibres), where
Adequate ventilation and means for local cooling (e.g. electric fans) provided.

6 Inadequate Welfare Facilities As above There is reasonable access to toilet and rest facilities, with drinking water freely available.
There is an area that allows the worker to sit down in privacy (rest and refreshment breaks

7 Occupational Stress As above There is a general stress risk assessment in place, see …………………………. ref stress risk
assessment here……………………………………………………………………………………
There is regular monitoring and consultation with employees who are during menopause to
ensure workplace stressors are kept to a minimum.

Liverpool City Council –Menopause Policy
Work-related Violence
As above
Risk of violence reduced to a minimum through adherence to ___________School’s Violence at
Work Policy.
There is a general work related violence risk assessment in place, see ………………………… ref
work related violence risk assessment
Alternative work is offered where the risk of violence cannot be significantly reduced.
Risk Level:
Accident likely with possibility of serious injury or loss
Possibility of accident occurring causing minor injury or loss
Accident unlikely with control measures