Menopause in the workplace: How to support employees and write a menopause policy
Only 10% of women believe that employers provide enough support for employees going through menopause, according to our menopause research of over 1,000 women.
The truth is that menopause impacts everyone, organisations and society as a whole and much more should be done to support and empower women in the workplace.
A third of menopausal women believe that menopause symptoms have a significant effect on their ability to work at their best, and 1 in 10 admit their menopause symptoms have led them to take time off work. Menopause impacts workplace productivity, attendance, morale, fulfilment, progression and more.
Here we explain how to support your employees as they experience peri-menopause and menopause in the workplace.
For tips and advice to understand the menopause, this short video is the perfect place to start for all your employees to understand what women go through and how to support women better. It involves seven women discussing how menopause affected them in the workplace openly and honestly, including workplace expert Kathryn Colas, registered nutritionist Claire Roberts and host Sarah Parish.
As women continue working later in life, whether for enjoyment or financial reasons, it is important they're are able to feel they can easily seek and find support.
Menopause is still a taboo subject in the workplace. Among those who had requested time off work due to menopausal symptoms, 50% felt they had to tell their employer it was for a different reason. Many women feel they won't be taken seriously and worry they may be discriminated against for their symptoms.
All managers, men and women, need to listen and understand menopause, no matter which age or gender they are, so they can support staff wellbeing and get the most out of their employees and team members.
Actionable tips for supporting menopause in the workplace:
- Setting up a menopause drop-in session online or in person, or perhaps a Meno Café as described in the video.
- Encouraging line managers to ensure they are always there to listen and support generally, should they ever want to.
- Creating a menopause hub of resources on the company's intranet, in a welcome pack for new starters and regularly sending out emails for support on various health issues.
- Creating a menopause policy, or at the very least 'menopause guidelines' which are actionable and easy for all employees to access.
- Consider employee diet options and wellness packages, such as exercise classes, gym memberships, or discounted supplements such as MenoFriend® Menopause Support.
How to write a menopause policy and menopause guidelines
It is usual to link the company's menopause policy with existing corporate strategy and HR strategy. This could be linking in with the company's values, for example they may focus on being inclusive and supportive to all, this exemplifies the need to address women's health and makes it easy for everyone to understand why it is important to take menopause seriously.
We recommend reading How to write a workplace menopause policy in our menopause resource bank for a more in-depth tutorial.You will also find the following links useful on writing a menopause policy and guidelines:
- Menopause guidance and model policy
- HR Manager's guide to writing a menopause policy
- Menopause initiatives to support women in the workplace
- NHS guide to menopause in the workplace
How to manage an employee going through the menopause
It is important to keep the line of communication open so that there is trust. It is difficult for women to speak about menopause due to negative societal stigma, especially in the workplace. As line managers, make women feel comfortable and that you are approachable.
Keep direct one-on-one conversations regular, read up on menopause with resources in this article so that you have more of an understanding and ask the employee what more can be done to support them personally.
Menopause support resources for the workplace
We highly recommend watching this video of real women speaking honestly about menopause, it gives an insight into how menopause impacts daily lives in a very big way. You are welcome to share this video on workplace intranets and through email to support staff and help #BreakTheTaboo.
Understanding menopause resources for staff:
- What is peri-menopause?
- What is menopause?
- How to know if you're starting menopause?
- Myths about menopause
Menopause symptom resources:
- Common symptoms of menopause
- Unusual symptoms of menopause
- Menopause and anxiety and mood swings
- What is vaginal atrophy?
- How menopause affects your skin and hair
Diet and how to eat during menopause resources:
- Nutrition for the menopause
- Plant-based recipes
- Supplementation during perimenopause and the menopause
If you have any questions about menopause, please reach out to us and our team of registered nutritionists at firstname.lastname@example.org
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