Information for employers
Endometriosis UK has an Endometriosis Friendly Employer Scheme to assist employers in creating a more inclusive work environment for people with endometriosis.
It’s important to understand that endometriosis can manifest itself in different ways for different people. Some may need support on a daily basis while others may have extended periods of feeling well followed by short episodes where they struggle to work. Many people are able and willing to work as much as possible, so being flexible and understanding with staff is key.
What constitutes an inclusive workplace will depend on a person’s work and their specific needs, but here are some questions to consider.
- Is there access to support services such as occupational health?
- Do managers meet regularly with their team to discuss their wellbeing?
- Are there processes in place when someone discloses a health condition?
- Would endometriosis awareness training be useful? This might coincide with endometriosis awareness month in March.
At the very least an employer should not apply policies which disadvantage a disabled person more than they do a person without an impairment. For example, medical appointments related to an impairment should not be counted against someone as repeated absences, resulting in them being disciplined. Absences which are not connected to the impairment can still be counted.
You may find that your workplace is not currently set up to help people manage their jobs at the same time as having symptoms of endometriosis. This is an issue being discussed across the UK.
As a result, the British Standards Institute has very recently created guidance on ‘Menstruation, Menstrual Health, and Menopause in the Workplace’.
The aim of the guidance is to give employers practical advice and help them create spaces which are more supportive of employees experiencing problems linked to these things. It’s worth noting that endometriosis is usually considered a menstrual health condition, even if symptoms are wider-ranging than this.