FSU PUSH FOR MENOPAUSE WORKPLACE RIGHTS

The FSU and Maurice Blackburn are both advocating for workplace rights for menopausal women, including flexible work and paid leave, in separate submissions to a Senate inquiry into the economic and social impacts of menopause on the workforce.

A submission from University of Sydney academics states that menopause is a ‘workplace equality issue’, with evidence suggesting it might hinder the ‘ability of mature women to realise their right to work’ and ‘entrench the gender gap in pay and retirement savings at mid-life’. The academics acknowledge potential risks, stating that ‘policies could have a negative impact on women, especially if they contribute to employer discrimination in hiring and promotion or reinforce negative gender stereotypes that women are unsuitable for leadership roles due to their bodies’.

Strategies such as flexible work arrangements and menstrual leave are suggested to address issues of reduced productivity and engagement due to symptoms. The FSU provides a policy framework emphasising the need for support and awareness in the workplace.

 ‘The gold standard is to provide workers with menopause education, workplace flexibilities and paid leave’.

Maurice Blackburn proposes modernising awards in female-dominated sectors ‘as a starting point’ to accommodate menopause-related leave, and reduce stigma in the workplace.

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