The Menopause Friendly’s independent panel of experts has awarded the John Lewis Partnership its Menopause Friendly Employer accreditation for “creating an inclusive culture where everyone feels able to talk about the menopause”.
The company states that it wanted to “create a level playing field” by encouraging an environment in which women and their managers feel comfortable talking about it, so that the business can offer support.
The John Lewis Partnership has also introduced a “holistic” package of support for its partners at all stages of the menopause. The support package is said to include guidance for managers, nutrition and health information and advice, access to free mental health support, as well as support from its in-house occupational health and wellbeing team.
In addition, the company has also updated its policies on flexible working and taking time off work, with dedicated support available to partners experiencing the menopause.
The John Lewis Partnership, which is reportedly the UK’s largest employee-owned business, employs over 42,000 women.
Lene Wood, a partner at John Lewis’ Kingston store, said: “I began to notice a huge change in how I was feeling in my mid 50s, and thought that other partners might be going through similar, so I started a monthly ‘#HotFlushChat’. It was a support space where partners affected by the menopause could come and speak openly about how they were feeling and share helpful tips.
“It’s great to see that the business is doing so much to support those affected by the menopause, by including an informative menopause site, health practioners to talk to and a flexible policy to support and retain Partners.”
Carolyn Harris MP, chair of All Party Parliamentary Group on Menopause, said: “Workplace support is vital for those experiencing symptoms of the menopause and I welcome the commitment that The John Lewis Partnership have made to their employees.
“Too many women have suffered due to a lack of understanding from their employer and we know that one in ten menopausal women have felt forced to leave the workforce as a result. By introducing some simple changes employers like The John Lewis Partnership will benefit from being able to retain experienced and loyal employees at the peak of their careers.”
She added: “It is wonderful to see the menopause finally being taken seriously and I am delighted that the commitment that The John Lewis Partnership have made, has been recognised and that they have been accredited as a Menopause Friendly Employer.”
Jog Hundle, Menopause Friendly independent panel member, said: “We’re delighted to see the John Lewis Partnership achieve our Menopause Friendly Accreditation. Their application was outstanding and they’ve made such a difference for their colleagues.
“They set clear objectives to create a movement to normalise menopause, with strong senior leadership support. They’ve demonstrated excellent menopause awareness, education and support within their organisation, creating a culture where menopause is easy to talk about and support is available. Well done to everyone involved.”