SV introduces leave for menstruation and menopause

Published: 8 March 2023
SV's Emily Dunstan, Director of Strategic Foresight & Research, launches the Menstruation and Menopause Policy.

Sustainability Victoria is proud to launch its Menstruation and Menopause Policy today, providing support and relief to staff members who are experiencing symptoms of menstruation or menopause.

As part of SV’s commitment to providing an inclusive and diverse workplace, the policy offers additional paid leave as well as other flexible work options which can be tailored to suit each staff member’s needs.

SV’s Chief People Officer Hannah Vine said the idea for the policy was sparked by a conversation among members of the agency’s Gender Equality Working Group. The policy has since been supported by staff and endorsed by the executive leadership team.

“We've got these great diversity and inclusion champions in our organisation who have formed a number of working groups and they are really leading the way."
Hannah Vine, Acting Chief People Officer

"The best thing about these groups is that staff members are able to use their own life experiences to inform our policy," Hannah said.

The policy is one of the first of its kind within the Victorian public service and, in addition to providing tangible support to staff, aims to tackle the stigma around menstruation and menopause.

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees revealed that menopause costs Australian women billions of dollars annually through lost earnings and super due to early retirement.

By introducing a formal policy, SV hopes to break down some of that stigma and normalise the conversation around menstruation and menopause, sending a strong message that these are experiences faced by many with a financial and societal impact.

SV’s Interim CEO Matt Genever said the reception from staff members had been resoundingly positive throughout the policy’s consultation period.

“Everyone is really excited by the policy and feel proud to work at SV as a place that’s leading the way for the Victorian public service.”
Matt Genever, Interim CEO, Sustainability Victoria

"This is a starting point for other kinds of policies that consider people’s different life experiences, their diversity and backgrounds. There’s always more we can do, but I feel this is a really good start," Matt said.