Here at Above the Law, we regularly cover news concerning the way Biglaw firms address their employees’ journey into parenthood, from the expansion of family-planning benefits to include fertility treatments to enhanced parental-leave for new parents and compassionate-leave plans for those who have experienced miscarriages or failed fertility treatments. It’s rare, however, that we’re able to cover programs that cater to employees who are the opposite end of the spectrum — those who are experiencing menopause.
Progress is now on the horizon, as several Magic Circle firms have adopted menopause policies and support packages — and the latest to do so is making them available on a global basis.
While Freshfields and Clifford Chance offer these opportunities to their UK employees, Linklaters recently announced menopause programming that extends to all employees in all offices. Not only is the firm offering access to an app called Peppy Health that will provide support to menopausal employees, but insurance coverage for specialists who treat conditions related to menopause will now be available. Law360 has more information:
“Menopause symptoms can have a detrimental impact on anybody living with them, and their working lives are not exempt from that,” said Jessamy Gallagher, executive committee champion for age and life stage at Linklaters, in a statement Tuesday. “It can also indirectly affect anyone, including those supporting a partner or family member living through the menopause.”
The firm is expanding its menopause support group and creating learning modules for management and anyone in a supervising role.
“People should not have to navigate the menopause in silence,” Gallagher said. “I hope that our policy and enhanced support will encourage open discussion and further strengthen our culture of openness and our commitment to caring for our people at every stage of their lives.”
According to Gallagher, Linklaters hopes to “retain and support women of all ages into senior roles,” and this is certainly a benevolent way to do so.
Will other firms be willing to step up and assist menopausal employees? This is something we’ll keep an eye on. Hopefully your firm will decide to offer important benefit policies like these soon if it’s not doing so already.
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.