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Supporting wellbeing in the workplace is of increasing importance to employers. One hot topic is how those going through menopause or perimenopause can be best supported. Avanti West Coast’s latest attempt to tackle this may have resulted in a bit of an ‘own goal’. They have come under fire after handing out a goodie bag to female employees containing ‘gimmick’ gifts. Avanti confirmed that it had given staff a bag filled with ‘gifts’ including a jelly baby ‘in case you feel like biting someone’s head off’, a paper clip ‘to help you keep it all together’, a tissue ‘if you’re feeling a bit emotional’ and a pencil ‘to write down the things you might forget’. Other items included a fan ‘handy for the hot sweats’.

The Aslef train drivers’ union shared a photo of the list and wrote on X: 

‘Avanti the menopause is debilitating for some women, it’s not a joke…Rather than handing out insulting gimmicks to female employees you’d be better placed developing workplace policies and procedures that value and support peri-menopausal and menopausal women!’ 

A reminder, if one was needed, that employers should think very carefully about the messages that their actions send out. Be aware of the full range of employee experience when dealing with sensitive topics such as menopause.

Find out how we can help.  Our partner, Jon Dunkley, heads the Wollens specialist Employment Department.  Contact him today for an informal chat, without obligation on 01271 342268 or via email at [email protected].