Future Group’s menstrual and menopausal leave policy

Future Group’s menstrual and menopausal leave policy

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Future Group

For too long menopause and periods have been taboo topics, forcing women to suffer in silence and adding to workplace inequality.

Research from Circle In published in 2021 surveyed 700 women and found that 58% found managing work during their menopause was challenging.

One respondent to the survey said: “I have a male manager and they are awkward conversations. It’s also not something that tends to get discussed openly more generally. A little like mental health a few years ago.”

Another said: “It seems the first response is, ‘Oh, it’s hormonal and you’re emotional. You’ll need to learn to curb that’.”

These are just some examples of the way the taboo around menopause enhances the challenges women face during this period of life and stymies their ability to succeed in the workplace.

That’s why Future Group introduced our Menstrual and Menopause Leave policy.

What is it?

Our policy entitles all full time employees who experience the symptoms of menstruation or menopause to 6 paid days of leave each financial year.

We are a remote-first business but as part of this policy we also encourage employees to use flexibility and working from home to manage the symptoms of menstruation and menopause whenever they need.

In addition, employees have the opportunity to stay in the workplace under circumstances which make them feel comfortable - so for example, if someone’s in the office and needs to rest in a quiet area due to symptoms that is 100% fine.

How do people use it?

We try to create a culture where periods and menopause are not taboo topics. To achieve this we encourage our team to update their Slack status to let people know when they are taking Menstrual and Menopause Leave.

This helps normalise using the leave entitlement and helps get rid of the old fashioned idea that menstruation and menopause - realities which impact half the population - should never be mentioned.

Could other businesses introduce Menstrual and Menopause Leave?

Yes! We made our policy open source and you can find it here. A huge thank you to Victorian Women’s Trust for tirelessly advocating for menstrual and menopausal health. They provided a Menstrual Policy Template and educational resources which was pivotal in drafting Future Super’s Menstrual and Menopausal Guidelines.