Endometriosis Friendly Employer Scheme
Why an Endometriosis Friendly Employer scheme?
1 in 10 women from puberty to menopause have endometriosis, that’s over 1.5 million in the UK, predominately of working age. With an average time to diagnosis of 7.5 years and a cost of £8.2 billion per year to the UK economy in terms of lost work, treatment and healthcare costs, the potential impact on work and employment is clear. If you have not previously heard of endometriosis, or not realised the serious and sometimes debilitating effects it can have, this is likely to be due to its association with the menstrual cycle which many consider embarrassing or taboo to talk about, and society’s historic marginalisation of “women’s problems”.
Thankfully times are changing, and awareness of endometriosis and menstrual conditions is increasing – but there is still a long way to go. Endometriosis UK has set up the Endometriosis Friendly Employer scheme to enable employers to work towards improving support for those with this chronic, long term condition. Employers who sign up will be helping break the taboo and stigma around endometriosis and menstrual conditions, and developing work environments where all staff are comfortable talking about possible practical adjustments that could be of benefit.
Anyone, regardless of their gender, requires the same support and flexibility in the workplace. Endometriosis UK recognises that endometriosis can affect people that do not identify as female. Transgender men, or those who identify as gender fluid or non-binary, may find it distressing to talk about their endometriosis in an employment setting. It’s important to have an open dialogue about this with your employee, and discuss ways in which you can support them.
What is the Endometriosis Friendly Employer scheme and what are the benefits of signing up?
By signing up to be an Endometriosis Friendly Employer an organisation is demonstrating its commitment to support employees with endometriosis – 1 in 10 women. It is a demonstrable way of showing your commitment to your employee’s wellbeing. From our work with those with the disease and employers, we believe that by overcoming the challenges individuals may face in the workplace due to lack of knowledge or misunderstanding of the disease, Endometriosis Friendly Employers will see improvements in employee wellbeing, productivity and performance, employee engagement and morale.
When you sign up to be an Endometriosis Friendly Employer, you will receive:
- a certificate to display your commitment
- your organisations name on the list of signatories on our website
- twice yearly e-newsletters highlighting organisational best practice and keeping you up to date with latest developments
- support for Endometriosis Champions with an induction webinar and dedicated Endometriosis Champions e-updates
- a copy of the book ‘Endometriosis: The Experts’ Guide to Treat, Manage and Live well with Your Symptoms’ for information and reference within your organisation
- permission to use the Endometriosis Friendly Employer logo
Many thanks to Standard Life Aberdeen for being the first organisation to become an Endometriosis Friendly Employer. Their willingness and commitment to tackle this issue so proactively, especially in what has traditionally been a male dominated finance sector, is impressive.