Joining the likes of ASOS, the move is reported to benefit 1,500 workers in factories in Trafford and Wrexham as well Salford headquarters.
The support includes giving staff extra paid leave while experiencing menopause, having fertility treatment or a loss of pregnancy. The company has said it is aiming to help staff feel “psychologically safe” at work, according to the BBC.
An estimated one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. A smaller but significant number will be ectopic or molar pregnancies. Some people will experience multiple losses. The majority of workplaces have staff who are affected.
Vice president, human resources, Sam Thomas-Berry says: “Many people experience these issues, and the impact can be both physical and mental, but they aren’t discussed widely in the workplace.
“We want to create a culture where people feel psychologically safe, so we’ll encourage colleagues to be allies to others impacted by these issues.”
The company says it wants to break the silence on subjects not discussed in the workplace.
Who Will Benefit In The Workplace?
Under the plans, managers will receive training on how to talk about menopause and pregnancy loss. People attending fertility treatment could be offered three blocks of leave each year plus access to a private space to administer treatment if necessary.
Data from the Miscarriage Association shows that one in four people experience a miscarriage. A smaller number could experience ectopic or molar pregnancies as well as multiple losses. In England, around 1 in 250 births is a stillbirth, says the NHS.
With regards to menopause, approximately 13 million women in the UK are either peri- or post-menopausal. Some experience premature menopause, which happens under the age of 40.
According to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), in 2019 nearly 53,000 patients had 69,000 fresh and frozen vitro fertilisation (IVF) cycles. Further, 5,700 donor insemination (DI) cycles happened.
Given that there are 32.4 million working adults in the UK, this makes up a lot of the working population in the country.
What Can Employers Do To Help Employees Experiencing Menopause, Pregnancy Loss And Fertility Treatment?
In relation to pregnancy loss, the Miscarriage Association says that thoughtful support and management can make a real difference to how people cope. The organisation also says that it can enhance an employee’s motivation and commitment to the company.
On the other hand, a lack of support can result in reduced productivity, lower standards of work, increased absence and resignation. It is also worth acknowledging that the loss of a pregnancy can affect all genders in different ways.
Experiencing menopause can affect people in the workplace, especially those who are experiencing symptoms. This is because some symptoms can be severe, affecting people both physically and mentally.
It is essential that employers provide training to managers to help people in the workplace talk about menopause. They also need to create a positive and open environment. This means people experiencing menopause can be honest about how their symptoms are affecting them.
People undergoing fertility treatment might be concerned about taking sick leave or worry about talking to employers about undergoing treatment. Again, taking an open and honest approach in the workplace could mean people trust the company. Managers need to be aware to approach conversations of fertility treatment sensitively.