Endo Au Workplace Assistance Program for Employers
Endometriosis Australia’s Workplace Assistance Program enables organisations to sustainably and strategically take meaningful action to support their employees with endometriosis.
Based around the core pillars of Process, Policy and Promotion, Endo-Friendly Workplace Accreditation provides tangible and practical benefits for employees suffering from endometriosis and employers, ultimately improving productivity and wellbeing for staff and their workplaces.
Interested in becoming an accredited Endo Au Workplace Assistance employer?
Questions? Email email@example.com
If you have not previously heard of endometriosis, or not realised the serious and sometimes debilitating effects it can have, this is likely to be due to its association with the menstrual cycle which many consider embarrassing or taboo to talk about, and society’s historic marginalisation of “women’s problems”. It is important to note that endometriosis can affect the whole body regardless of the phase of the menstrual cycle and can occur even if the uterus is removed. So while endometriosis is commonly associated with the menstrual cycle, it is not a menstrual disease per se.
Endo Au Workplace Assistance Program Information
Endo Au Workplace Assistance Program Information is specifically designed to work with workplaces who are committed to support their employers suffering with endometriosis.
You must fulfil all of the below requirements:
- Be a workplace with operations in Australia
- Have employees (You can develop these guidelines regardless if any employees have disclosed they have endometriosis. Think of the guidelines as part of your HR offering, similar to parental leave).
- Be completely autonomous with own governance structure (e.g. have a CEO, board).
- Have authority to create and modify organisational policies and procedures
- Have the ability to assign an Endo Champion
By signing-up to the Endo Au Workplace Assistance Program you are demonstrating your commitment to proactive work to incorporate these principles into everyday life at your organisation.
Implementation and continuous improvement are essential to ensure your policies are supporting an endo-friendly workplace and have a beneficial impact for your employees. Endometriosis Australia will work with you to set-up sustainable practices within your employment policies to achieve the greatest impact for your endo-friendly workplace.
Reviewing your commitment and tracking progress
Your organisation will be asked to submit a review a year after you have signed up to be an Endo-Friendly Accredited Employer, and every two years after that. This provides you with the opportunity to see how your organisation is continually striving to be an Endo-Friendly Accredited Employer. The review process is a simple, online survey, enabling you to showcase the activities you have in place to support your employees.
Organisations that wish to sign up for the Endo Au Workplace Assistance Program will be asked to pay an administration fee to Endometriosis Australia, based on the number of staff they employ (Full Time Equivalent). Fees are not a form of payment for service or a membership charge, and are non-refundable. The administration fee covers the initial sign up to the scheme, the first-year review and subsequent two-year reviews; it is not an annual fee.
Why is the Western Sydney University Endo@Work research in partnership with Endometriosis Australia important?
It’s about the research… one in nine Australian women and those assigned female at birth (AFAB) suffer from endometriosis (aka endo). With over 830,000 Australians suffering from endo, the cost of illness burden is approximately AUD $9.6 billion each year, or roughly $30,000 per endo-diagnosed Australian per year (Armour et al., 2019). The majority of those costs reflect a loss of productivity while at work, but also reflect other out-of-pocket expenses such as pharmaceuticals, surgeries, carer support, allied health and complementary medicines (Armour et al., 2022).
Endometriosis Australia and Western Sydney University’s NICM Health Research Institute, in partnership, are developing the Endo@Work Workplace Guideline to enable people with endometriosis to engage more fully in work while still supporting their own wellbeing and maintaining productivity. This is fundamental in all employment but especially for sufferers of this life-defining disease.
This research project seeks to understand the perceptions and experiences of those with endometriosis in the workplace; explore organisational perspectives on providing practical and appropriate support and draw on these experiences/ perspectives to shape guidelines and recommendations for employers to implement. This research will inform the ongoing development of the Endo Au Workplace Assistance Program for endo-friendly employer accreditation.
“Consequently, those with endometriosis have to contend not only with reduced income (e.g., part-time work, use of sick leave, missed opportunities) but also considerable expenses related to disease management.” (Armour et al., 2022: p. C31).
Endometriosis Australia’s recent research completed in partnership with experts from Western Sydney University, the University of Technology Sydney, and Southern Cross University is informing the development of our Endo@Work program and policy development with the following findings:
- one in six people with endometriosis will lose their employment due to managing the disease.
- one in three will be overlooked for a promotion.
- 70% have to take unpaid time off work to manage symptoms.
- 50% said lack of workplace flexibility was a significant problem.
- 79% reported that work-from-home protocols made managing their symptoms easier.
- 60% said they will be more productively working from home.
- 90% thought flexibility in hours and working from home could improve their management of endo in the workplace.
Those with endometriosis who gain and keep jobs attribute their success to flexible and reasonable workplaces and understanding and empathic managers and colleagues. COVID-19 restrictions (Work From Home) have demonstrated that for those with endometriosis, changes in working arrangements, mostly around the ability to self-manage working hours and rest breaks, improved their quality of life and productivity.*
*Endometriosis and the workplace: Lessons from Australia’s response to COVID-19 (Mike Armour, Donna Ciccia, Chelsea Stoikos, Jon Wardle)