New menopause support introduced at veterinary group
New resources and guidelines about the menopause have been launched by veterinary group Linnaeus.
Within the group’s workforce of nearly 6,000 associates, 84% are due to transition through the menopause at some point in their career. In response, Linnaeus has introduced the resources to support associates who are perimenopausal or are going through the menopause, their colleagues and line managers.
The resources comprise guidance materials, a health and wellbeing assessment, associate case studies, links to external support, and information posters. Linnaeus is also gathering continuous feedback from associates to ensure the resources are regularly reviewed and improved.
A pilot of mindfulness app Headspace has also been introduced, giving free access to everyone at Linnaeus, whether they are experiencing the menopause or have other needs.
Saskia Connell, People and Organisation Director at Linnaeus, commented:
“Menopause is a stage of life that is unique for everyone who experiences it – and can also affect the people around them. For those experiencing the menopause, sadly 45% say they feel their symptoms have had a negative impact on their work, according to the British Menopause Society. As an employer, we need to make sure they have our full support and a flourishing career.
“The guidance we are now offering is the start of a conversation we are having with our associates, and encouraging them to have with each other. It is vital that anyone who is going through the perimenopause or menopause, and the teams they work with, can easily access information and advice.”
Alongside the resources available at Linnaeus, Park Vet Group – which is part of Linnaeus – has introduced additional wellbeing initiatives to support its associates with the menopause.
Leicester-based Park offers confidential support to all associates who wish to talk about any health concerns, plus open sessions to establish conversations about menopause. Its team, led by Practice Manager Harriet Tims, also introduced yellow 'Just to Make you Smile' toiletry bags containing sanitary products, tissues, hygiene wipes, deodorant spray and face wipes. Anyone at Park can help themselves to the bags, or add products should they wish.
Harriet experienced a medically induced menopause prior to surgery for endometriosis. She said:
“My own experience of menopause made me aware of unknown feelings and symptoms that are aligned with this stage of life, and how the previous taboo attitude towards menopause needs to change. I also realised how much more we could do for the health of associates who are female or were born female.
“While discussing my personal experience initially made me feel more vulnerable, the response from the Park team was fantastic. Our yellow bags are still being used and filled up, and we are having more frequent and honest conversations about our health. I am proud that my colleagues have embraced this so much.”
The Park management team is now looking to introduce the yellow bags to client bathrooms, and offer further support to associates who are male or born male.
“I am so proud of Harriet and the team at Park for their positivity, team effort and energy. Their menopause initiatives are not only supporting the health and wellbeing of the team – adapting to the needs of different associates is also a great example of inclusivity in practice. While the Linnaeus menopause resources are available to all, we also encourage our practices to tailor this support to the needs of their individual teams.”