How employers can support staff going through menopause

Increasingly employers are taking motion to assist employees going by means of menopause.

That is partly on account of high-profile campaigns from commerce unions and celebrities; it’s additionally as a result of menopause impacts such a major part of the workforce that it’s turn out to be unattainable to disregard.

The truth is, round 13 million individuals are at the moment peri or menopausal within the UK, equal to a 3rd of the whole UK feminine inhabitants. However it will be important to not fall into the entice of considering that menopause solely impacts older feminine employees.

This difficulty impacts a variety of the workforce by way of age as a result of somebody might expertise untimely menopause, medically induced (short-term) menopause or surgical menopause. As well as, the problem additionally impacts transgender, non-binary and inter-sex employees.

Many workers sadly preserve silence round their experiences of menopause. That is partly on account of a worry of ageism and shedding their jobs or standing in the event that they admit to some widespread penalties of menopause, together with mind fog and scorching flushes.

Value of Menopause to enterprise and the financial system

Girls over 50 are the fastest-growing group within the workforce, and lots of are extremely expert and on the peak of their careers.

Analysis by the CIPD in 2021 discovered that six in ten working ladies experiencing menopause stated it negatively impacted them at work. As well as, one in ten ladies leaves their job due to menopausal signs, whereas one in 5 ladies don’t search the promotion they deserve due to a lack of confidence linked to their menopause transition. Consequently, there are potential knock-on results on the gender pay hole, the pension hole and the variety of ladies in senior management positions.

The authorized place

Menopause just isn’t a “protected attribute” within the Equality Act 2010. Earlier this 12 months, the Authorities confirmed it might not be making any modifications to the Act, and menopause wouldn’t turn out to be a brand new “protected attribute”, which was disappointing for individuals who had campaigned for that change. The Authorities believes that the prevailing protected traits of intercourse, age and incapacity already shield in opposition to discrimination and harassment on account of menopause.

What are my authorized duties as an employer?

Employers have a authorized responsibility to forestall office discrimination and harassment. Employers even have an obligation to guard their workers’ well being, security and welfare and assess office dangers. If the person has a incapacity, the duty to make cheap changes might come up.

How can I greatest assist employees going by means of menopause?

Many accountable employers are already taking steps to interrupt the taboo and assist employees going by means of menopause by encouraging open conversations, masking menopause in the course of the induction processes and appointing office menopause champions. Others have carried out a menopause coverage and held common coaching periods to coach employees. Employers may also take a look at adjusting illness insurance policies to deal with menopause-related absences.

For instance, insurance policies with “set off factors” (when a number of short-term absences set off a efficiency overview or disciplinary motion) have a specific impression on menopausal workers.

Different proactive approaches can embody establishing casual assist networks corresponding to menopause cafes and signposting to additional assist for these experiencing debilitating signs.

Some employers already present entry to menopause clinics and app-based companies. Different measures might embody extra versatile working, corresponding to altering shift patterns and altering begin occasions.

Employers may also enhance the working setting for individuals experiencing menopause. Such measures can embody offering entry to followers and good air flow to assist fight scorching flushes, the flexibility to regulate office temperature and making changes to employees uniforms which can trigger discomfort.

Intensive steering is on the market for employers from organisations together with ACAS, CIPD, Over the Bloody Moon, Menopause Assist and Menopause Issues UK.

There are a lot of advantages for employers in taking a extra proactive strategy in direction of menopause. By fostering safer and fairer workplaces for individuals working by means of menopause, employers usually tend to retain the abilities of skilled and expert staff whereas boosting morale and well-being of their crew.

Hannah Waterman

Hannah Waterworth is an employment solicitor in Blake Morgan’s Employment, Pensions, Advantages and Immigration crew.

Back To Top