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RCM launches guides on menopause and equality in the workplace

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has launched a series of five guides which look at issues including the menopause and equality in the workplace.

The guides include the RCM's report, BME Midwives, Disciplinary Proceedings and the Workplace Race Equality Standard, which discovered that black and minority ethnic (BME) midwives working in London were disproportionately more likely to face disciplinary hearings than their colleagues.

It found that despite making up 44% of the workforce they made up two thirds of the staff facing disciplinary action in the capital.

The RCM's director of members services Suzanne Tyler said the report highlighted a need to ensure staff were treated fairly.

Other material published in the series includes a guide on Working with the Menopause and the effect it has on staff, how employers can help and the role of workplace representatives.

In 2014, 43% of  the RCM's members were aged between 45 and 59 - the average age for a woman to reach menopause is 52.

Another guide in the series, Equality Essential outlines equality legislation, different kinds of discrimination and debunks some myths about diversity and equality.

The Pregnancy and Maternity Rights at Work guide highlights advice for staff in the workplace and the extra support needed if they encounter patients who are being discriminated at work.

The Work Related Stress guide offers tips on positive management behaviour for heads of midwifery.

It also includes information on spotting stress triggers.

The RCM's employment relations adviser Amy Livesidge said the guides could be used by workplace reps and heads of midwifery to work together with trusts and NHS employers to improve health and wellbeing in the workplace.

She said: “The RCM has always advocated that the health and wellbeing of maternity staff ultimately improves the service they provide and in turn ensures women and their babies receive the highest quality care.”