14 June 2021

PCS votes to introduce menopause policy

Conference voted for the policy after hearing from several speakers on the matter, most with personal experience of discrimination born from misinformation.

Motion A47 was moved by Catherine, from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals branch. 

“The genesis of this motion was the feeling of an unfair dismissal, which resulted in a £19,000 payout, and reinstatement order for the dismissed PCS member,” Catherine explained.

“This lack of understanding and awareness on an institutional level is a real barrier; one cannot help but wonder if this wouldn't be the case if it affected cis men, the menopause should not be a taboo subject,” she added.

The motion seeks to introduce a policy for branches and groups to negotiate on, with employers, in place by 30 September 2021. 

Catherine pointed out that in Scotland over a third of the female workforce is over 50, adding that “It is grossly unfair that at present a significant number of our members are at risk of being penalised because of something that is natural, out of control and non optional”.

The motion was seconded by Lorna, from West Murcia Revenue and Customs branch, who said that women and their symptoms needed to be treated on a case by case basis, adding that no two women will experience the same symptoms.

“This is not to be taken lightly, or treated as an inconvenience or as a joke. No woman wants to be ineffective in their job,” Lorna said.

Among the speakers supporting the motion was Sandra from HMRC Northern Ireland who said that women have, for so long, not been taken seriously when they try to explain how unwell they are because of the menopause process. 

“We need to develop detailed guidance and push for formal policies within the civil service, to educate everyone about this medical condition,” Sandra underlined.