Did you know 25% of women with menopaus symptoms have considered leaving their job? There has also been a significant increase in women brining employment claims linked to menopause in the workplace – 167% increase since 2019.
For years menopause has been a taboo subject, and many women do not feel comfortable speaking about their experience of menopause in the workplace. To combat this issue, we encourage employers to start the dialogue and put measures in place to create a supportive workplace.
Below we’ve outlined 4 steps you can take to support women with menopause in the workplace.
Open communication is key to creating a supportive and trusting environment and will enable employees to feel comfortable talking about sensitive matters such as the menopause. Regular one-on-ones can help to create an open culture and build trust between team members and managers.
Remember, the focus of these meetings doesn't always need to be performance-related! Simply asking people how they're doing can encourage them to open up about issues or problems that they're experiencing. But avoid asking direct questions – instead, take the lead from your team member.
If you would like advice on the best way to approach these subjects with your employees, why not speak our expert HR consultants.
Menopause Workplace forum
90% of women say their workplace does not offer menopause support, but if you’re someone that doesn’t suffer with menopause symptoms it can be difficult to know what support you should offer. We’ve recently seen an increase in employers holding menopause forums, to create a safe space where employers can speak openly about their experiences. Holding a menopause workplace forum can be something you do for all your employees to build awareness and education – this will ensure your whole workforce is supportive and educated.
Simple things like ensuring that employees can regulate the temperature of their environment, take regular breaks, and have access to a desk fan and suitable washroom facilities can all help people to manage their menopause symptoms. Stress is known to make menopause symptoms worse. So do what you can to minimise any undue stressors that your team member may be feeling and consider using a stress risk assessment to identify stressors.
These reasonable adjustments may only need to be temporary. But it's important to discuss individual needs, and to check back regularly to see how your team member is getting on.
Supportive Menopause Policy
A clear menopause workplace policy or menopause guidance document will help employees, people managers and leaders to understand how to support women experiencing the menopause at work, and to avoid any potential legal issues.
Including a section on menopause in your organization's existing well-being or sickness policies is a good way to start. You may also want to consider introducing formal menopause management training that covers the subject. This will help to improve understanding and confidence around what the menopause means, so that managers know what signs to look out for, how it may impact someone they manage, and what they can do to provide support.
If you would like advice on creating a menopause workplace policy, we have expert HR consultants that can help.