Women working at Gedling Borough Council who are experiencing the menopause will be helped by a new workplace policy.
It is thought the Labour-run council is the first in the region to adopt such a policy.
The policy came about after a suggestion box response was made by a member of staff.
Now, women will be offered flexible working, more comfortable clothing will be allowed, and office temperature will be considered.
In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51, but around one in 100 women experience menopause before 40 years of age.
Symptoms can include hot flushes, palpitations, night sweats and sleep disturbance, fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, mood disturbance, and skin irritation.
As part of its new menopause-friendly policy, the council will launch an awareness campaign among managers, encouraging them to: “create an environment in which employees can discuss health matters or concerns including those relating to menopause.”
The council also plans to implement ‘appropriate changes’ to assist employees experiencing the symptoms, including: Adjusting working times; ‘Providing the flexibility to take breaks during the working day to accommodate personal need’ and; ‘Adjusting the office environment, for example, in relation to temperature particularly through the issue of things such as personal fans that do not have a substantial impact on the comfort of others in the office.’
Another change now agreed by the council is to implement: “Flexibility in terms of work clothing standards to ensure comfort. This may be particularly relevant if a uniform is required. It may be appropriate to issue more uniforms, particularly if the uniform is made from synthetic fibres which is less comfortable than natural fibres.”
Plans to implement the policy were unanimously approved today (Wednesday, April 3) by Labour and Conservative councillors.
Labour councillor Bob Collis represents Porchester, and said: “I think this is long overdue in some ways. Men never experience this, they may see the consequences of it, but they never experience it themselves, so they don’t really know what they are talking about, to be honest.
“I’m all in favour of it, I think we’re breaking new ground here.”