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Menstrual Health and Menopause in the Workplace – new BSI Standard

Women’s Health and the Menopause has received an increasing amount of attention in the media and in Government, and rightly so. As someone who spent part of their corporate career working for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and for The British Standards Institution (BSI), and as someone with endometriosis, I fully appreciate how having clear frameworks for how to best manage people and workplace issues is fundamental to progression, to achieving best practice and to attaining a level of mutual understanding. It’s why I’m in full support of the new menopause standard BS 30416 Menstruation, menstrual health and menopause in the workplace.

Women frequently ‘just get on with things’ without feeling they can talk about their menstrual health or the challenges they’re facing because anything gynaecological is still seen as taboo. It's true, it's a highly personal and sensitive topic, however, that doesn’t mean the issues don’t exist or that women from time to time, may need to talk to and receive support from their colleagues and employers. Here we take a look at how the British standard can help improve things for the better.

Why is this Standard required?

Traditionally, the workforce was comprised of men and the emphasis was on commercial output. Today, women make up a significant part of the workforce and more attention is being given to the individual employee and the importance of their health and wellbeing, as a way to achieve commercial success. However, workplace practices and provisions haven’t really adapted sufficiently to accommodate women and BS 30416 is part of the required step change.

What does this Standard offer?

The Standard offers practical recommendations for workplace adjustments. It strives to address the language we use to refer to menstrual health, products and menopause. It looks at the basics such as offering menstrual products, to the comfort levels of the work environment, to flexible working practices, as well as more in-depth overarching workplace policies. The standard serves to educate on how to adapt, include and value employees.

From a commercial perspective, the standard gives employers a way to fulfil their duty of care towards their employees and to enhance their employer brand. By demonstrating due consideration is given to their employees, organisations will attract and retain talent, creating a higher level of loyalty and workplace satisfaction.

Ultimately, the Standard functions as a starting point for a better appreciation of menstrual health, menstruation and menopause, how to approach discussions about them and how to develop improved support of them. Read the standard for yourself.

Further information can be found from the CIPD at

If you’d like to explore how Body Mechanics Health and Wellbeing Programmes can help your business please get in touch: enquiries@bodymechanics.co.uk