Menopause in the workplace
Even though the menopause is a natural stage in life, it is still a taboo subject in many workplaces.
Why talk about menopause?
It might feel a bit personal to talk about menopause at work, but it’s really important that we all do, because:
- Times have changed – 100 years ago women reached menopause at around 57 and died at around age 59.
- Menopause happens to women of working age – These days, the menopause typically happens between the age of 45 and 55. The average age for a woman to undergo the menopause in the UK is 51, whilst they are working.
- It can cause symptoms and challenges – 3 out of 4 women experience symptoms of menopause which affect their wellbeing. A quarter of women experience debilitating symptoms.
Menopause and work
Research by Bupa shows that almost a million women have left their jobs because of the symptoms of menopause. Others are forced to take long-term absence from work to manage symptoms, resulting in a huge loss of productivity to businesses.
These women are likely to be at the top of their game. This talent needs protecting with the right support. This will enable women to reach their full potential at work, allowing businesses to reap the benefits.
Support for menopause
People experiencing the symptoms of menopause require the same support and understanding from their employer as anyone experiencing any ongoing health condition.
People should feel confident to have conversations with managers to discuss any practical adjustments that could be made. This can help ensure the menopause does not become a barrier to performance.
Small adjustments, often only needed on a temporary basis, can make a big difference. Appropriate adjustments could include:
- Ventilation e.g. providing fans
- Access to cold drinking water
- Time out – allowing someone to take 5 minutes to get some fresh air
- Using quiet rooms as time out spaces
- Flexible working – allowing individuals to start later (if sleep is an issue)
For more guidance, see the informative guide that the CIPD have developed on ‘Managing the menopause at work’.
Support in Staffordshire
Everyone Health Staffordshire
Everyone Health Staffordshire offer a free healthy lifestyle service to Staffordshire residents. This includes support to help people lose weight, get more active and stop smoking. Please note, some restrictions do apply.
They also offer a free healthy workplace service to some businesses in Staffordshire, to support employees to stay healthy. Restrictions do apply, so please contact Everyone Health to discuss if your business may be eligible.
Making healthy lifestyle changes can often help people with the symptoms of the menopause.
Resources to support menopause at work
Take a look at these useful toolkits, websites and campaigns to help you support menopause discussions in your workplace.
Toolkits and guides:
This useful guide has been developed by the CIPD. It offers practical advice on what a manager needs to know about the menopause to effectively support their team.
This guidance on help and support for older workers has been produced by the Department for Work and Pensions.
This policy paper was published in July 2022, by the Department for Work and Pensions. Section 6 details recommendations for employers.
Menopause Cafe is a charity that aims to raise awareness of the menopause. This guide explains how to host a Menopause Cafe in your workplace or community, to help open up discussions about the menopause.
This is a form produced by the Department for Work and Pensions. It can be used by people who have a disability or health condition that makes it harder for them to move into work or stay in a job.
It can help people:
- Identify what support and changes (known as reasonable adjustments) they may need when in work or moving into work.
- Apply for support from 'Access to Work'. This could include funding for specialist equipment and support getting to and from work.
- Talk to employers about adjustments and in work support they may need.
Campaigns, websites and apps:
World menopause day is held on the 18 October every year, to raise awareness of the menopause.
This website includes lots of podcasts and leaflets on the menopause.
This website includes information and advice on the menopause. It also has a section on ‘Menopause in the workplace’.
This contains information on the menopause for healthcare professionals.
This website has loads of useful information on a range of topics related to the menopause, including a helpful section on ‘Menopause and work’.
Includes lots of information on the menopause, including treatments and lifestyle changes to help menopause symptoms.
Covers the physical and emotional symptoms men can develop when they reach their late 40s to early 50s. This is sometimes labelled the ‘male menopause’.
Includes resources and guides for HR Teams and Managers.
Includes a range of resources around the menopause at work.
Includes independent information on the menopause, symptoms and treatment options.
This website gives independent advice about the menopause, midlife and post-menopausal health. They also produce a quarterly newsletter.
There are an increasing number of health and wellbeing apps available. We are making it easier for you and your employees to find apps that can help you to stay healthy and well with our health and wellbeing app finder tool. This includes the top rated apps for menopause.
Get in touch
Let us know what you’re doing in your workplace around menopause at work by emailing Workplace Health.