Derry and Strabane becomes first council to adopt menopause policy in NI

Policy hopes staff can ‘openly and comfortably’ discuss menopause and seek support

Derry and Strabane has become the first council area in Northern Ireland to agree to adopt a menopause policy.

Its aim is to foster an environment in which colleagues can “openly and comfortably” discuss the menopause and ensure that women suffering from menopausal symptoms feel confident asking for support from a manager or from human resources. It also aims to reduce absenteeism due to menopausal symptoms.

The policy will set out the guidelines for members of staff and managers on providing the right support to manage menopausal symptoms at work. The decision was made at a meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s (DCSDC) Governance and Strategic Planning Committee on Tuesday evening. The decision will be ratified at a full council meeting later this month.

The council’s lead HR officer, Paula Donnelly, who outlined the proposals to the committee, said it was evidence of DCSDC’s commitment to providing an inclusive and supportive working environment for all its employees. Councillors were told that research shows that the majority of women are unwilling to discuss menopause related health problems with their manager, nor ask for the support or adjustments that they may need.


Ms Donnelly said she hoped the policy would foster an environment in which colleagues can openly and comfortably instigate conversations, or engage in discussions about menopause. She also said it aimed to ensure that everyone understands what menopause is, can confidently have good conversations, and are clear on the Council’s policy and practices.

Freya McClements

Freya McClements

Freya McClements is Northern Editor of The Irish Times