20 October 2020
It’s been a year since the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) launched the National Menopause Guidelines, which laid out strategies for supporting police officers and staff going through the menopause in the workplace. This was a national first for policing – a joint initiative for PFEW, the NPCC, the College of Policing and Unison - and showed a firm commitment to take the menopause, its symptoms and those who suffer from it, more seriously on a national level.
Hayley Aley, one of the Federation’s Wellbeing and Women’s Leads, was instrumental in getting the guidelines to their final stage, and has been hard at work making sure that they’re embedded in Forces throughout England and Wales.
Ms Aley said: “It’s been going really well - I’ve done lots of promotional activity, and even went on BBC Breakfast for my five minutes of fame. Most importantly though, we were able to share these guidelines across lots of different sectors and promote the guidelines widely. We’ve done work with the ambulance service, British Transport Police, the fire services, and at wellbeing events within Forces across the country.
“I’ve been to countless events and had many meetings with senior leaders to spread the guidelines more widely - it’s not just about Federated officers, but staff and people across the emergency services family.”
Asked about how her efforts have paid off, Ms Aley said: “The guidelines have landed really well, but this is only the first year. There’s still a lot of support needed. This year we have refreshed and relaunched the guidelines to try and push them even further to those Forces where they haven’t been fully embedded yet.
“We’re also working on sickness absence reporting so officers can tick a specific box for menopause when requesting time away from the workplace. As well as this, we want to introduce ‘wellbeing passports’ so officers don’t have to keep declaring the provision they need. Some Forces have implemented this, but it isn’t common practice across the board yet.”
The PFEW’s Menopause Action Group (MAG), which produced and oversees the Guidelines, has a number of next steps in mind, including a comprehensive educational toolkit to make sure members have the resources they need. As a first step, MAG put together a short educational video for World Menopause Day on Sunday 18 October. You can find the video here.
Ms Aley said: “The need is growing rather than disappearing, and our next steps are always guided by MAG, which is going from strength to strength. People are slowly getting on board, and if I’m proud of one thing, I’m proud of that.”