Tesco removes ‘debilitating’ menopause symptoms from sickness policy calculations

Tesco has removed “debilitating” menopausal symptoms from its sickness policy and absence calculations as part of a wider package of support for all colleagues going through menopause.

The move will allow Tesco employees experiencing the menopause to take time off work to cope with their symptoms without worrying about any potential impact on their absence rates. It will also encourage honest and open conversations about reasons for needing time off work.

The change to the policy for menopause absences builds on Tesco’s existing package of support and ongoing work to raise awareness.

Tesco chief people officer Emma Taylor said the retailer was looking to “support colleagues through this time in their life without adding additional worries or pressure”.

“For some colleagues, symptoms of menopause may be so debilitating there may be times when they are too unwell to come to work. That’s why we are making this latest change,” she added.

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As one of the UK’s largest private-sector employers, Tesco has signed the Menopause Workplace Pledge and is committed to helping its colleagues understand and talk openly about menopause.

Over the past year the supermarket’s work to support colleagues experiencing symptoms of menopause and raise awareness of the issue, has also included a new menopause-friendly uniform with lightweight, breathable fabric; a regular talking Menopause Colleague Café and the launch of Hot@Tesco group, which gives women a space to share experiences and signpost resources.

It has also launched a menopause guide which is available to those outside of the business as well as a colleague portal which brings resources, webinars, colleague support and other information together in one place, making it easier to access help and support.

Usdaw national officer Daniel Adams welcomed the move. He said: “Usdaw has long campaigned for the menopause to be treated as an occupational health issue and called upon employers to better support women working through the menopause.

“Tesco has recognised that women experiencing the menopause need additional support and flexibility and that absence should be managed supportively, not punitively… this change to the sickness absence policy will give our members confidence to take the time they need to deal with the symptoms they are experiencing.”



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