In a progressive maneuver, the Bank of Ireland is now offering a benefit that allows women who are currently going through menopause the option to take paid leave.
Every woman dreads the day they begin to show symptoms of menopause which can include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, weight gain, and mood swings. This transition for most women begins between the ages of 45 and 55, which is also typically the prime time for a woman to be deeply involved in a career. One major company has recognized the challenges associated with the transition into menopause and has invoked a menopause leave policy.
This news is reported by CNN Business on how one major company is offering paid leave for woman employees who are going through the challenges associated with the symptoms of menopause. Bank of Ireland Group is offering menopause leave in order to prevent woman employees from leaving the workplace due to the constraints of having to work through the transition and changes in their bodies while maintaining a full work schedule. This menopause leave will allow the impacted employees up to ten days off a year to recover from any psychological or physical menopause conditions.
The Bank of Ireland Group has over 9,800 employees worldwide and is also taking the menopause leave incitative a step further by providing the necessary training to management on how to support team members that are currently going through menopause properly. Most of the employees of the Bank of Ireland Group are located in the United Kingdom and of course, Ireland. The menopause leave announcement was made during Ireland’s first annual Menopause Awareness Week and comes up as growing numbers of companies are following suit to introduce policies that target menopause and menopause leave.
Joanne Healy, the head of the Bank of Ireland Groups employee relations said in a statement, “We want to help our colleagues at all stages of their lives including the menopause” Healy continued on, “This will help us continue to build a work environment in which everyone is treated with fairness, dignity, and respect”.
A study performed by Ireland’s department of health reported that more than half of the women currently in the stages of menopause have a long list of various symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, issues sleeping, hot flashes, and ever-so-dreaded mood swings. Less than a third of the women who completed the study stated they would feel comfortable bringing up menopause and the experiences they were working through. In the United Kingdom alone, one in ten employed women ends up quitting their jobs because of the challenges of maintaining a full-time job and the health impacts of menopause.
Another survey found that a quarter of women are also more than likely to jump into retirement sooner than planned due to menopause. At the beginning of this year, the United Kingdom government set up a menopause task force to dig deeper into the effects of menopause on women and their careers. Implementing the menopause leave policies is meant to help career women dealing with menopause not feel forced to walk away from a job position due to the normal effects of aging.