Creating a menopause friendly workplace

Creating a menopause-friendly workplace

Creating a Friendly Environment


Diversity and inclusion matter in today’s workplace. But sometimes, we forget about menopausal women and their unique needs. Let’s discuss why supporting them is crucial for a better workplace.

So what is menopause?

Menopause is a natural biological process that occurs, typically between the ages of 45 and 55. In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach menopause is 51. During menopause, a woman’s ovaries stop releasing eggs and her menstrual periods stop permanently. Decreasing production of reproductive hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone, primarily drives this transition.

Symptoms of menopause include hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, insomnia, and vaginal dryness. While menopause is a normal part of ageing, its onset and symptoms can vary widely among individuals.

Menopause in the workplace

Women experiencing the menopause can struggle at work. According to CIPD:

  • 67% of of women experiencing menopausal symptoms report a mostly negative impact on their work.
  • 53% could recall a time when they couldn’t work because of menopause symptoms..
  • The most common symptoms reported are psychological. 67% suffer with mood disturbances, anxiety, depression, memory loss, panic attacks, loss of confidence and reduced concentration.

Menopause can lead to 1 in 4 women leaving their jobs.

menopause lawMenopause and the law

Employers should ensure they have procedures and support in place to aid staff experiencing menopause. Engaging in regular discussions with employees and addressing their concerns promptly can prevent potential legal disputes.

Employers should also understand how menopause intersects with the law:

  1. The Equality Act 2010 guards against discrimination. Sex, age and disability are all characteristics which protect employees against unfair treatment.
  2. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which mandates employers to prioritise the health and safety of all workers.

Menopause policy

To ensure staff feel supported, it’s beneficial to implement a menopause policy within the organisation. Ensure it is widely circulated and regularly updated. This will provide the foundation for managerial training.

Having a policy can raise awareness and bring understanding. The policy could outline training for line managers and designate a point of contact for menopause-related queries. It can also help promote menopause awareness about menopause transition and symptoms. It can affirm the employer’s commitment to supporting diversity, promote women’s health and prevent discrimination.

Even with a policy, employers should be flexible in supporting staff through menopause, acknowledging that each person’s experience varies. Check current health, safety, and wellbeing policies to make sure they cover any links with menopause. This review might encompass diversity and inclusion policies (e.g., regarding sex, race, disability, gender reassignment), flexible working arrangements, absence management, and sickness reporting protocols.

How to become a menopause friendly workplace

A menopause policy is not enough. It’s vital to recognise that each person’s experience is different. Employers should explore how they can offer menopause workplace support and be flexible in supporting staff through menopause.

Talking openly about menopause is vital. By offering education and support about menopause symptoms employers can create a supportive environment. Building a sense of community among menopausal women is empowering.

Setting up menopause support groups for employees can make a big difference. It provides an opportunity to share experiences and tips for coping with menopause at work. This leads to a workplace culture where women feel comfortable asking for help. This can drastically reduce sickness absence and promote long term wellbeing.

Supporting menopausal employees means more than just talking. It means taking action. For example, offering flexible working hours can help colleagues to manage their symptoms while still doing their job well. And making sure workspaces are comfortable – with good air and temperature control – can make a big difference too.

Menopause trainingMenopause Training

Even though menopause mainly impacts women and those with a menstrual cycle. Including men in discussions and training about menopause is vital as they might be supporting others through it.

Creating a supportive culture between employers and those affected by menopause is paramount. It prevents problems like decreased confidence, absenteeism and mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, depression. All of which can lead to employees leaving employment.

Educating managers and colleagues about menopause is also important. It helps everyone understand what menopausal employees are going through and how they can help.

The business case

Supporting menopausal employees isn’t just about being nice. It’s good for business too. When colleagues feel supported and valued, they’re more likely to stay engaged and do their best work.

Supporting menopausal employees in the workplace is essential for creating a better, more inclusive environment. Talking openly, taking action, and listening to individual needs, ensures everyone feels valued and respected at work.

We’re proud to have supported thousands of employees through menopause all across the world. MenoHealth offer an award-winning programme of online menopause support and training. Our workshops and easy exercise sessions help businesses support colleagues through and beyond menopause.

We can focus on a variety of menopause topics. We ensure employees have the chance to feel heard, understood and supported to manage their individual symptoms.

We have refined the process for maximum convenience. We adapt to your schedule, scheduling sessions at your team’s optimal times. And, we offer bespoke programmes crafted to precisely align with your needs. Request a free info pack here.

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