The independent panel of experts at The Menopause Friendly Awards John Lewis Partnership its Menopause Friendly Employer accreditation for “creating an inclusive culture where everyone feels able to talk about menopause”.
The company said it wanted to “level the playing field” by fostering an environment where women and their managers feel comfortable talking about it, so businesses can offer support.
John Lewis Partnership has also introduced a ‘holistic’ package of support for its partners at all stages of 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 the in-house occupational health and wellbeing team.
In addition, the company has also updated its flexible work and absence policies, with special support available for menopausal partners.
John Lewis Partnership, said to be the largest employee-owned business in the UK, employs over 42,000 women.
Lene Wood, partner at John Lewis’s Kingston store, said: “I started to notice a huge change in how I felt in my mid-50s and thought other partners might be going through something similar, so I started a monthly ‘ # HotFlushChat’. It was a support space where partners affected by menopause could come and talk openly about how they were feeling and share helpful advice.
“It’s great to see the business doing so much to support those affected by the menopause, including an informative menopause site, healthcare professionals to speak to and a flexible partner support and retention policy.”
Carolyn Harris MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Menopause, said: “Workplace support is vital for those experiencing menopausal symptoms and I welcome the commitment The John Lewis Partnership has made to its employees.
“Too many women have suffered because of a lack of understanding from their employers and we know that one in ten menopausal women have felt forced out of the workforce as a result. By making some simple changes, employers like The John Lewis Partnership will benefit from the opportunity to retain experienced and loyal employees at the top of their careers.”
She added: “It’s great to see menopause finally being taken seriously and I’m delighted that the commitment made by The John Lewis Partnership has been recognized and that they have been accredited as a Menopause Friendly Employer.”
Jog Hundle, an independent member of the menopause-friendly group, said: “We are delighted to see the John Lewis Partnership achieving our menopause-friendly accreditation. Their application was outstanding and they made such a difference to their colleagues.
“They set clear goals to create a movement to normalize menopause with strong support from senior leadership. They have 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 all involved.”