Home Health & Wellness 6 Things You Should Know About Menopause if You’re an Employer

6 Things You Should Know About Menopause if You’re an Employer

Published: Last updated:
Reading Time: 2 minutes

With nearly half (45%) of people going through menopause feeling that their symptoms have had a negative impact on their work, it’s clear that this is an area where workplace gender equality must improve.

As well as directly affecting the individual going through menopause, it can indirectly affect other groups closely associated with the person experiencing symptoms.

For this reason, it’s important that menopause is fully understood in the workplace so that policies, adjustments, and considerations can be made to contribute to a menopause-friendly environment. Catherine Hickabottom, learning and development manager at High Speed Training, a leading provider of online workplace training, shares some key considerations for employers.

1. Provide small adjustments that will have a big impact

Catherine says: “Ensuring employees with menopausal symptoms are as comfortable as possible is crucial to overall morale and productivity. Employers can introduce supportive adjustments such as having fans at the desks, better ventilation, easy access to drinking water and easy access to toilets and washing facilities.

“If you work in an industry where uniforms or PPE are required, it’s also important to make adjustments to uniforms and required clothing where possible.”

2. Introduce policies which create a framework of support 

Catherine says: “Ultimately, policies are put in place to keep your service users and staff safe. Policies set out your approach, attitude, and values in a specific area, informing staff why certain initiatives and behaviours are important. They’re also instrumental in preventing discrimination, challenging the stigma associated with menopause.

“Whether the policy explicitly explains the company’s stance on menopause or incorporates menopause considerations within absence or sickness policies, implementing such measures will help to boost employee confidence.”

3. Be flexible 

Catherine says: “Flexibility in the workplace generally is a great way to make your employees feel trusted, comfortable, and satisfied. Offering flexibility, especially in relation to menopause, provides affected employees with control that they may have otherwise felt they had lost.

“Flexibility may take the form of flexible working arrangements, such as working from home or a space where they feel most comfortable. Additionally, you could offer flexible working hours so employees can attend doctor’s appointments. You may also want to consider allowing additional breaks where required.”

4. Help others understand through training 

Catherine says: “A 2022 House of Commons Committee Report concluded that menopause still carries significant social and cultural stigma, particularly for certain groups, including LGBT people and young and ethnic minority women, highlighting a lack of understanding amongst employees and employers.

“Offering a menopause awareness course in the workplace is crucial to an inclusive and supportive environment. It helps raise awareness among employees, promotes empathy, and equips colleagues and managers with the knowledge to effectively accommodate and understand the unique challenges that individuals experiencing menopause may face. This proactive approach contributes to a healthier and more understanding workplace culture.”

5. Create a safe and open space 

Catherine says: “As well as training and policies on menopause awareness, provide a safe space and the opportunity for employees to discuss how they are feeling. A workplace with good communication processes allows for greater understanding generally.

6. Break the stigma 

Catherine says: “A part of creating an environment that is safe and open includes ensuring that those experiencing menopause feel validated. This can be achieved by challenging the ‘taboo’ of menopause and encouraging open discussion around it, as well as breaking down negative stereotypes.

“In no way should menopause be an acceptable topic for jokes or workplace ‘banter’. The introduction of policies can set expectations for employee conduct, encouraging a safe and respectful environment.”

© Copyright 2014–2034 Psychreg Ltd