How employers can support staff going through menopause

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

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

Actually, round 13 million persons are at the moment peri or menopausal within the UK, equal to a 3rd of all the UK feminine inhabitants. However it will be significant to not fall into the lure of pondering that menopause solely impacts older feminine workers.

This subject impacts a variety of the workforce when it comes to age as a result of somebody could expertise untimely menopause, medically induced (short-term) menopause or surgical menopause. As well as, the difficulty additionally impacts transgender, non-binary and inter-sex workers.

Many staff sadly preserve silence round their experiences of menopause. That is partly as a result of 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 financial system

Ladies over 50 are the fastest-growing group within the workforce, and plenty 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 will not be making any adjustments 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 defend towards discrimination and harassment as a result of menopause.

What are my authorized duties as an employer?

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

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

Many accountable employers are already taking steps to interrupt the taboo and assist workers 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 applied a menopause coverage and held common coaching periods to coach workers. Employers may also have 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 assessment or disciplinary motion) have a selected impression on menopausal staff.

Different proactive approaches can embody establishing casual assist networks resembling 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 could embody extra versatile working, resembling altering shift patterns and altering begin occasions.

Employers may also enhance the working setting for folks 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 workers uniforms which can trigger discomfort.

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

There are numerous 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 abilities of skilled and expert staff whereas boosting morale and well-being of their workforce.

Hannah Waterman

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

Back To Top