Last updated: 17 April 2024

Next review: 23 November 2024

Policies and procedures

Family Friendly policies, procedures and leave entitlement for eligible employees

The Council wants to be a sympathetic and caring employer who supports it workforce in dealing with the many matters that can affect employees lives. To this aim the Council offers a wide range of family friendly policies that in many cases exceeds its statutory requirements so that our employees can balance their home and working lives more effectively.

The Council has been awarded the ‘Employer with a Heart’ charter mark under the Smallest things campaign for its work to support parents of premature babies. This ground breaking policy was at the forefront of steering the government to make its key changes to neo-natal legislation. The Council are also very proud to be the winners of the Guardians Public Service Employee Well-being Award. More information on the Smallest Things.

Menopause Policy

Given the number of employees that are or will be affected by menopause, noting the Council’s demographics of 68% of the council’s workforce identifying as female, and the median age of LBWF employees being 47 years old. This means that a significant portion of our workforce will be going through the menopause over the coming years, which typically occurs between the ages of 45 to 55. This makes this policy and supporting actions, service critical and pivotal to ensuring that the Council has positive and far-reaching outcomes for our employees. The Council wants to support anyone impacted by the menopause, this could be employees, employees whose partners who may be affected or management looking to support their teams members. 

About the Menopause

Menopause is a natural part of aging for women. It denotes a biological stage of life in which a person stops menstruating and experiences hormonal changes such as a decrease in oestrogen levels. Usually, menopause is defined as having occurred when a person has not had a period for 12 consecutive months (for women reaching menopause naturally).  It usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 and typically lasts for a number of years. Every experience will be different and menopausal symptoms can sometimes begin before the age of 40.

Menopause policy

The Council’s menopause policy raises awareness and offers practical advice for employees and managers alike as to how individuals can be effectively supported.  The policy also includes a Risk Assessment that has been designed to help support employees.

Menopause and its effects are increasingly becoming recognised as a potential occupational health and work problem and is no longer considered a ‘taboo’ subject. More awareness and some simple changes could make an employees working life during this time much easier and that’s what this menopause policy aims to do.

The menopause represents a major change in a person’s life and for many people symptoms can impact daily life both inside and outside work. Despite this, the menopause is still largely misunderstood amongst employers.

View our menopause policy (PDF)

Menopause Champion

To support this policy and to ensure that this important subject matter gets the traction that is required, the Council is pleased to announce that Linzi Roberts-Egan, Chief Executive is the Council’s first Menopause Champion and will be looking to work with the Council’s Women’s Network (WOW) and other partners to explore and promote ways in which we can support employees. This is so that any barriers can be removed as the Council wants to ensure that employees feel empowered to come forward and seek help, support and guidance and not to suffer in silence.

Online services

The Care First Lifestyle website offers extensive resources including articles on health, issues at home, issues at work, management support tools, stress questionnaires and online counselling in real-time.

Care First is designed to help you with a wide range of work, family and personal issues. From work-life balance to childcare information, relationships to workplace issues, health and well-being, let your EAP support you on the issues that affect all of us at some point in our lives. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Work-life balance Relationships
  • Childcare information
  • Health and well-being
  • Debt
  • Disability and illness
  • Education
  • Consumer rights
  • Workplace pressure
  • Careers
  • Bereavement and loss
  • Stress
  • Elder care information
  • Life events
  • Immigration
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Family issues
  • Bullying and harassment

The Council does not know who uses the Care First service unless the employee personally chooses to tell someone about their contact with Care First. Care First does, however, provide statistics to the Council to show how many employees are using the service, and the broad types of issues that employees raise with them, however, no information is shared that could potentially identify you.

Information service

A team of Information Specialists are available Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm to answer any practical queries you may have. Whether you have a one-off question or a problem which takes longer to resolve, we are here to help. Care first provides help with a range of practical issues including

  • Communication Problems: Mobile phones, media complaints, TV licence queries, copyright etc.
  • Travel, transport and holidays: Holiday complaints, driving licence/passport queries.
  • Immigration and nationality citizenship: Overstays, dual nationality, immigration control and working in the UK.
  • Legal enquiries/solicitors: Court procedures, Police, legal help scheme, court forms, jury service.
  • Education: Problems at school, student grants and student loans.
  • Employment:  Employee rights, TUPE, pay issues, health and safety at work.
  • National, international and human rights: Moving overseas, access to personal records, sexual assault, personal injuries
  • Family and personal: Ending a relationship, child support, domestic violence, wills and probate, childcare provision, elder and community care, bereavement.
  • Benefits: Including housing, incapacity and disability benefits, tax credits, and maternity benefits.
  • Health: Including Patient rights, complaints, health costs, HIV/AIDS, abortion and infertility.
  • Housing: Buying and selling, renting, tenancies, homelessness, neighbour disputes, mortgages, residential care, nursing homes.
  • Taxes: Income tax, Council tax, PAYE, fringe benefits, tax rebates, tax arrears.
  • Consumers and debt: Goods and services, consumer problems, insurance, credit, banks, etc.

Returning to work after a career break

The Council recognises the challenges working parents or carers face, particularly after returning to work from a career break after looking after loved ones. We understand that the transition into work can impact a person’s life.

Returning to work after a long employment gap and/or life-changing event can be stressful and the Council wants to ensure that returning to the workplace is an easy and straightforward transition it is hoped that the following policies will assist with this transition.

Pay and benefits