Menopause policies are the latest ‘must haves’ in most organisations, and while we recognise the importance of the step, most are total twaddle. So, I have written a proper policy here that you are welcome to send to your HR team to cut and paste into their HR policies…
Menopausal Women at Work: A Guide for Managers
As a fully diverse and inclusive organisation, our board of 11 white middle class men and one white middle class woman (HR) have approved this menopausal policy for immediate implementation.
At its core are various ‘reasonable adjustments’ that have been made to accommodate the menopausal woman’s needs.
Ownership of temperature control will be handed entirely over to the menopausal woman. If others in the office complain that they are ‘f*ucking freezing’, then they should be asked to wear a jumper and a woolly hat. It is essential that the menopausal woman can regulate the temperature around her as there is f*ck all she can do about the raging inferno inside her. If anyone else touches the thermostat, they must spend the day with three fleeces, six hot water bottles and a big North Face jacket on while sitting beside a heater to assist in the development of menopausal empathy – see ‘Training’ section below.
Relationships with Colleagues
Menopausal brain fog, lack of sleep and mood swings can affect how a woman performs her work and her relationships with colleagues. She may be heard muttering ‘FFS’ and ‘You f*cking what?’ or refer to colleagues using such terms as ‘Bell*nd’, ‘Ars*hole’, ‘F*ckwit’ and even the C word (no, not ‘Christmas’). Allowances are to be made when the menopausal woman consistently mishears ‘webinar’ as ‘winebar’, ‘gym’ as ‘gin’ and ‘Pilates’ as ‘pie & lattes’. There also likely to explode at common misspellings :-), inappropriate use of apostrophe’s in email’s and are not to be at your beckon call. She may be observed rolling her eyes and doing a one or two fingered salute during the more tedious of meetings. This is because falling oestrogen levels make her much more honest than the non-menopausal person.
Any dress code is to be relaxed for the menopausal woman. If the menopausal woman wants to wear a loose linen smock with Birkenstocks rather than pour herself into a tight skirt and blazer then this will be accommodated.
Indeed, pyjamas at work should not be discouraged; anyone wishing to show solidarity can come to work in their pyjamas too (let’s face it, about a third of the country was doing this for most of last year anyway…) Underwear is optional, but no comments should be made about; boobs peeking out from below the pyjama top, or the need to cross legs before sneezing or coughing. Not that we are allowed to cough in the office any more.
The menopausal woman may find it beneficial to just sod off from everyone and everything and sit on a beach in Greece to either write bad poetry or to do a Shirley Valentine by sh*gging a waiter. Every menopausal woman is different so there are no formal guidelines around this, but we have agreed with our Trades Unions a minimum 3-month menopausal career break on full pay – requests for an extension will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
NOTE: This leave may NOT be shared with a partner. They can sort their own bloody manopause out (if you haven’t heard of it, it’s a bit like man flu but with motorbikes).
Benefits Specific to the Menopausal Woman
It is a cruel truth that deterioration of a menopausal woman’s eyesight coincides with an exponential increase in cheese wire like, dark facial hair. It should be noted that this hair can grow to 10mm in length in a 24hr period. Laser eye surgery will therefore be offered as a tax-free benefit as well as high quality tweezers and strong magnifying mirrors. ‘Tena Lady’ will join the free sanitary protection in the toilets and gin should join the chocolate in the vending machines.
Menopausal ambassadors will be around to help where required, with stocks of hankies, handheld fans, contact numbers for therapists, vouchers for new (larger) clothes (pyjamas) and wine/chocolate in case the vending machines run out of gin.
As it is very likely that the menopausal woman will only find a cure for her insomnia three minutes before the alarm goes off, there are now menopause rooms which are equipped with cool comfortable reclining chairs that rock the menopausal woman to sleep mid-afternoon.
Mandatory training will be given to all managers to help them implement this policy. This will commence with a full day’s immersion session to enable you to fully empathise with the menopausal woman. All managers will participate in such activities as:
- Standing in front of an industrial oven on full blast for 15 mins 4 times during the day to develop empathy for the hot flush
- Being put in a sealed room with lots of midges to understand better the unbearable menopausal itching
- A temporary full-frontal lobotomy will be given at the end of the course and not reinstated after one week so the manager can experience brain fog and forgetfulness at first hand
- Kneecaps and elbows will be struck repeatedly throughout the day with a hammer to replicate menopausal joint pain.
All staff are to be able to deliver first aid so that they know what to do if another colleague is foolish enough to mention that they’ve ‘only lost 4kgs on their diet in the last 2 weeks’ within earshot of a hangry menopausal woman. Optional conflict resolution training may be required.
We believe these measures set the tone for a positive working environment for the menopausal woman. To ensure the long-term success of this policy any transgressions will be dealt with by a forum of menopausal woman headed by Big Madge, who is looking for a change in career after an incident in her old customer service role.
Token Female Board Member