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West Midlands Police Federation

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EveryonePause – menopause survey results published

14 May 2019

Three quarters of women who took part in the first nationwide survey on going through the menopause while working for the police said they found menopausal symptoms moderately or extremely problematic at work.

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) carried out the EveryonePause survey over six weeks in October last year and has now published the results.

“Officers and staff do not feel they can be open about what they are going through and would rather struggle to come into work or take leave instead of report sick.  The survey results show that there is less than adequate reporting facilities in forces,” says Hayley Aley, a women’s lead for PFEW.

“We need every force to recognise the impact that the menopause can have on health and just how unwell it can make you feel – every force should add menopause as an option in their sickness absence reporting fields.

“I’d like to say that our findings come as a surprise – they don’t but we now have an evidence-base to push for positive change.”

Key findings were:
  • 76 per cent of respondents who had either gone through or were going through the menopause said that they had found symptoms of the menopause either moderately or extremely problematic at work
  • More than eight out of 10 said that tiredness and sleep disturbances resulting from the menopause had been either moderately or extremely problematic for them at work
  • The majority said low mood and lower confidence as a result of the menopause had been either moderately or extremely problematic for them at work.
The survey was open to police officers and staff with 59 per cent of respondents being police officers and 40 per cent police staff (the remainder were in another role within the police service).

Different questions were asked depending on whether respondents had personal experience of the menopause and/or had managerial or supervisory responsibilities.

In fact, 45 per cent of respondents said that they either had gone through or were going through the menopause while 18 per cent said they had managerial responsibilities and 14 per cent fell into both of these categories. A further 23 per cent of respondents fell into neither of these categories and answered a set of broader questions concerning their awareness of the menopause.

One in five respondents said they had considered leaving the Force because they had found it difficult to deal with the menopause at work.

Only 11 per cent of managers said they had been trained to support someone going through the menopause.

And the majority of managers did not know whether their force had a formal policy or guidance on managing the menopause at work with at least two thirds of them saying they would find it useful to have this.

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