How employers can support staff going through menopause

An increasing number of employers are taking motion to help employees going by means of menopause.

That is partly resulting from 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 grow to be unimaginable to disregard.

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

This situation impacts a variety of the workforce when it comes to age as a result of somebody might expertise untimely menopause, medically induced (momentary) 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 resulting from a concern 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 economic system

Ladies 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 mentioned 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 will not be a “protected attribute” within the Equality Act 2010. Earlier this 12 months, the Authorities confirmed it could not be making any adjustments to the Act, and menopause wouldn’t grow to be a brand new “protected attribute”, which was disappointing for many who had campaigned for that change. The Authorities believes that the present protected traits of intercourse, age and incapacity already shield in opposition to discrimination and harassment resulting from menopause.

What are my authorized duties as an employer?

Employers have a authorized obligation 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 affordable changes might come up.

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

Many accountable employers are already taking steps to interrupt the taboo and help employees going by means of menopause by encouraging open conversations, overlaying menopause through the induction processes and appointing office menopause champions. Others have carried out a menopause coverage and held common coaching classes to teach employees. Employers may also take a look at adjusting illness insurance policies to handle 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 affect on menopausal workers.

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

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

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

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

There are various advantages for employers in taking a extra proactive strategy in the direction of menopause. By fostering safer and fairer workplaces for folks working by means of menopause, employers usually tend to retain the skills 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.

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