Standard Life Aberdeen becomes first Endometriosis Friendly Employer and pledges support for workers with endometriosis – it’s time others take their lead

Friday, June 28, 2019
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Standard Life Aberdeen have become the UK’s first Endometriosis Friendly Employer, helping drive positive change in the workplace for the 1 in 10 women with endometriosis and stamp out employers simply brushing women’s issues under the carpet. 

With female employment rates higher than ever before[1]and endometriosis costing the UK economy £8.2 billion a year in loss of work, treatment, and healthcare costs, endometriosis is an issue employers can no longer afford to ignore. 

The scheme, led by Endometriosis UK, will provide guidance on how to support employees with endometriosis, with employers committing to providing those with the condition the necessary support to thrive at work. 

Endometriosis is a long-term chronic pain condition where cells similar to the ones in the lining of the womb are found elsewhere in the body. These cells behave in the same way as those in the womb, but unlike a period, have no way of leaving the body.  The condition can be debilitating, and may have a huge impact at work – such as suffering from excruciating pain or needing frequent access to a toilet due to bowel or bladder related symptoms. 

Endometriosis UK recognises that some employers may feel uncomfortable talking about gynaecological health conditions relating to the menstrual cycle, but believes the scheme will go some way in turning this around.  

Emma Cox, CEO of Endometriosis UK said: “We are delighted to launch an Endometriosis Friendly Employer scheme to work with organisations so simple adjustments that can be made to help people with endometriosis deliver their job effectively whilst managing a chronic condition are widely understood”. 

“Endometriosis should not be a taboo subject, and we want organisations to adopt an open culture when it comes to talking about female health. Every employer should be comfortable in talking about endometriosis with their staff, and in turn, help employees feel supported in talking about their experience. 

“If employers really want to support their workforce, they need to show they are taking female health seriously and do all they can to help those affected by endometriosis remain and thrive at work”. 

Standard Life Aberdeen is the first company to take the lead and commit to the new scheme. This builds on the awareness campaign they have been running under their Standard Life brand, encouraging people to consider the impact that chronic conditions can have on their finances and ability to plan for the future. 

Earlier this year Standard Life and Endometriosis UK worked with world renowned portrait artist Rankin to launch the Beyond the Invisible campaign, shining a light on the real-life stories of women with endometriosis. 

Commenting on becoming the UK’s first Endometriosis Friendly Employer, Susie Logan, Brand and Marketing Director at Standard Life, commented:  “Endometriosis impacts every single aspect of sufferers lives, including work. This is why it is so important that employers commit to better support for their staff, not only for those with endometriosis, but all invisible illnesses. It simply cannot be the case that these illnesses, which impact more people than many of us know, are ignored. 

“Signing up to the Endometriosis Friendly Employer scheme is something we are incredibly proud to do. We have already taken a number of steps to satisfy the criteria outlined by Endometriosis UK to support our colleagues with endometriosis and are committed to doing more. Ultimately it’s about getting comfortable with the uncomfortable and we can work together to achieve that.”

Emma Cox, Endometriosis UK CEO added: “It is a huge boost for people with endometriosis to see such a large company add their support. It highlights that the way we talk about endometriosis at work is changing, and rather than being embarrassed or scared of talking about these issues with their employer, we are showing sufferers that their condition will be treated seriously and they will be provided with the same level as respect as they would with other conditions. 

“We now look forward to seeing many other employers following their lead”.  

You can find out more about the scheme and details of how to apply to join the scheme here.

ENDS

For more information, interview requests and case studies, please contact Faye on communications@endometriosis-uk.org or by calling 0207 222 2781.