THE CO-OP launched a menopause support guide to all of its 45,000 managers across Co-op food stores, funeral homes, legal services and insurance businesses to help more women access menopause support in the workplace.

A new study by the Co-op found that 52% of the UK’s managers don’t feel confident supporting a colleague who is or has experienced perimenopause or menopause.

A survey of 2,000 adults found that almost two fifths (38%) of women with the menopause experienced increased anxiety at work and three fifths (59%) said the menopause negatively impacted their work.

The guide aims to help managers understand how the menopause can impact colleagues and the role they can play in being supportive.

Usdaw National Officer, John Gorle, said: “Usdaw has been campaigning for better support and more openness about the menopause at work for a number of years and I welcome the initiatives the Co-op is taking to break the taboos surrounding this issue.

“This is a significant issue in retail where women are doing difficult and demanding jobs with little control over their working environment or hours of work.

“Working in customer facing roles, working nights, wearing uniforms made of polyester, short notice changes to hours, negative attitudes towards older women and a lack of awareness of the menopause can aggravate symptoms of the menopause and make it more difficult for them to raise the issue and ask for workplace adjustments.  

“Usdaw and the Co-op believe it is time we stopped dismissing the menopause as a ‘women’s issue’ and recognised that it is a workplace health concern, which can be alleviated by simple but effective adjustments to the working environment or working practices.”