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Centrica has introduced menopause guidelines for its 20,000 colleagues to help raise awareness and encourage conversations about what is still considered a workplace taboo whilst ensuring people who are going through menopause or otherwise affected by it both inside and outside of work are supported in a way that best suits their needs.

The ‘Let’s Talk Menopause’ guidelines, which includes helpful explainers about the signs and symptoms of menopause and tips on how to stay healthy before, during and after menopause, is borne from the acknowledgement that not everybody is comfortable talking about menopause or has enough knowledge about it. By encouraging open conversations between colleagues, Centrica hopes to break down these barriers.

The consequences of not talking about menopause can have devastating effects for those experiencing it. A 2019 survey conducted by BUPA and the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development found that three in five menopausal women were negatively affected at work and that almost 900,000 women in the U.K. left their jobs over an undefined period of time because of menopausal symptoms.

Although Centrica acknowledges there is no one-size-fits-all approach to menopause, the company’s guidelines outline the support and adjustments that can be made, which includes flexible working arrangements for those experiencing debilitating symptoms; flexibility around taking breaks or increased breaks during the working day; and where uniforms are provided offering natural fibres where possible and giving additional uniforms to ensure it is possible to change during the day.

"I'm delighted that we have launched our menopause guidelines, and I hope it will encourage more colleagues to have open conversations. I don’t want anyone going through menopause who needs our support to suffer in silence or feel isolated. Instead, I want to create a culture at Centrica where everyone can feel comfortable to raise any issues about their menopausal symptoms and ask for help."

Chris O’Shea, Group Chief Executive, Centrica

Centrica has a holistic approach to support colleagues’ health and well-being, providing proactive and reactive support through a range of internal tools, resources and benefits, including dedicated well-being programmes: MyCare is a confidential psychological support service, and Unmind is a mental health platform that empowers colleagues to engage, measure and understand their mental well-being proactively. Centrica's Women's Network also has a menopause chapter that offers sup-port and champions awareness.