People & Skills Group Address Bereavement and Menopause Issues in the Workplace
Suffolk Chamber's People & Skills Group (PSG) held a productive meeting, tackling two crucial workplace topics: bereavement and the menopause. The PSG, one of Suffolk Chamber's policy development forums, aims to facilitate knowledge sharing, hold decision-makers accountable, and shape lobbying campaigns.
During the meeting, the PSG delved into the impact of bereavement not only on the grieving employee but also on their colleagues. It emphasised the importance of male and younger female managers and staff understanding the effects of the menopause and perimenopause. These discussions were a highlight of the session.
Reflecting on the meeting, Richard Brame, Chair of the PSG, said, "The PSG, along with all of Suffolk Chamber's policy groups, strives to help organisations exchange experiences and ideas, ultimately leading to improvements that benefit staff and business owners. Judging by this criteria, the recent PSG meeting was one of the most insightful and moving discussions we've had."
The meeting included presentations from Louise Gladwell, Compliance & Process Supervisor, and Colin Low, Managing Director, of Suffolk Chamber member Kingsfleet Wealth, a renowned independent financial planner. Louise shared her personal experience of dealing with the sudden and unexpected loss of her husband, Gary. She highlighted the vital support received from Colin and the rest of the company upon her return to work.
Attendees also discussed the necessity for employers to establish bereavement policies that recognise the unique experiences of individuals and provide guidance and access to counselling services. The meeting highlighted the significance of offering death-in-service and key person insurance.
Bethany Fisher of Suffolk Libraries outlined the Menopause & Me service, aimed at supporting SMEs in the county by providing practical guidance and assistance in understanding and supporting colleagues going through menopause and perimenopause. The meeting emphasised the need for better education and support for male and younger female colleagues.
Richard Brame further stated, "While bereavement and menopause or perimenopause experiences primarily affect those involved, they also have a significant impact on businesses. To avoid avoidable talent and personnel losses, it is crucial for businesses to take empathetic and practical measures. Suffolk Chamber, as a result of the insightful presentations and subsequent discussions, will enhance the content on its website and support campaigns focused on promoting best practices."