Nice-Pak's Deborah Thatcher and ACAS's Stuart Plage have teamed up to educate managers on the symptoms and misconceptions around menopause.

A leading wet-wipe manufacturer is looking to cut out the stigma around menopause amongst its workers as it implements a policy supporting and educating workers on the topic.

Nice-Pak International, which has factories in Wigan, Flint, and Germany, has launched a new policy and education programme aimed at helping those going through menopause.

The move comes during 2021’s World Menopause Month, which is observed each October with the aim of increasing awareness of the realities of menopause and combating misinformation.

Nice-Pak’s new guidelines allows for uniforms to be adjusted for women going through menopause, for example for cotton shirts and lightweight good manufacturing practice coats to be worn during their activities.

A company-wide training course has also been added, dedicated to increasing awareness and guidance for managers on the of the impact of menopause.

Head of UK and Ireland sales at Nice-Pak Nikki Mitchell, who has been an employee at the business for eight years, said: “It is incredibly important to implement a policy like this as the topic of menopause has for so long been an off-limits subject at workplaces across the UK.

“With women making up around 40 per cent of our total staff, we have an obligation to support our colleagues going through menopause and create an environment where we can openly discuss those concerns and feel validated.

“As both an employee that will experience menopause and as a manager responsible for people’s wellbeing, seeing Nice-Pak step up to the plate and create a welcoming space to help our female workers through what can be a difficult stage of their lives is fantastic.”

The common symptoms and misconceptions of menopause form the core of the educational scheme implemented by the company, which is run by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

Senior adviser at ACAS Stuart Plage said: “It is vital managers have the skills and knowledge to support colleagues through potentially challenging times when needed.

“Managers can often find it difficult to discuss topics such as menopause with their staff and this regularly comes down due to a lack of understanding or fear they may make things worse with their input.

“However, not providing employees with the necessary help and adjustments at work can be costly.”

Menopause generally occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 55, with common symptoms including sleeping problems, weight gain, mood changes, and an increased level of stress and anxiety.

The scheme forms one part of Nice-Pak’s goal to further improve the general health and wellbeing of its 900-strong staff, operating alongside mental health training, an extensive employee assistance programme, and health checks.

HR director at Nice-Pak Deborah Thatcher, who has been with the business for 24 years, said: “While there is increased activity within employers across the UK to implement similar policies, we hope the training with ACAS truly sets us apart in the eyes of our employees.

“Focusing on breaking the stigma of menopause, which is a real and common occurrence, we aim to offer a welcoming and supportive environment to all our team members.”

Earlier this year, Nice-Pak received a Top Employers Institute certification for the 8th consecutive year.

The award recognises leading employers that provide excellent employee conditions, nurture and develop talent throughout all levels of the organisation, and strive to continuously optimise employment practices.