World Menopause Day: How to be a menopause-supportive employerOctober 10, 2023
Over half (51%) of the world’s population, including an estimated 1.2 million working women in the UK, will experience the menopause.
According to the new Menopause in the workplace: Employee experiences in 2023 Report, published by the CIPD, more than a quarter (27%) of the UK’s working women aged between 40 and 60 years old who have experienced menopause symptoms, admit the menopause has had a negative impact on their career progression.
The CIPD’s Report explores employees’ experiences of menopause at work and examines the type of adjustment and support that can be most helpful. Its findings show that the menopause has a direct impact on the level of stress and pressure, and that a lack of support in the workplace causes some women to leave the workplace entirely.
- More than half (55%) of those who feel unsupported by their employer, compared to 43% of those who do feel supported, report they feel under greater pressure;
- Three-quarters (75%) of women feeling unsupported at work report they are stressed, compared to 68% of those who feel their employer is supportive.
- More than two-thirds (67%) of women experiencing menopausal symptoms say these have had a mostly negative effect on them at work, reporting impacts ranging from low concentration to high levels of stress:
- 79% less able to concentrate;
- 68% feel increased stress levels.
Tips for employers
Feeling supported at work can make a considerable difference, so what can responsible employers do to ensure their workers feel that their menopausal symptoms are recognised and that they are supported by their employer?
The CIPD’s Report recommends six key actions:
1. An open culture
Create an open culture and encourage conversations about menopause – providing information and sharing experiences can help to involve all employees and managers in these conversations.
2. A supportive framework
Develop a supportive framework and be clear on practical help that is available. This could include a specific menopause policy or guidance as well as support for those experiencing symptoms.
3. Flexible working
Offer a broad range of flexible working options to suit a variety of roles.
4. Flexible absence management policies
Make sure that absence management policies are fair and flexible so that they don’t unfairly penalise someone experiencing ongoing menopause symptoms.
5. Educate line managers
Educate and train line managers so they are aware of menopause symptoms and organisational support. Training should include how to be approachable and to have sensitive one-to-one conversations.
6. Adjust working environments
Understand that simple adjustments to working environments can make a significant difference to someone’s comfort. For example, looking at ways to cool the workplace, providing easy access to cold drinking water and washrooms, and adapting uniforms to improve comfort.
Four steps to learn more about the menopause and how best to support workers
Sign-up for the “Let’s Talk Menopause: It Affects Us All” LIVE Webinar on the 17 October 2023 and hosted by our good friends at the Sante Group. Scheduled in the run-up to World Menopause Day, the FREE event will be led by Dr Rebecca Lewis, Clinical Director and co-founder of Newson Health, and a thought leader in women’s health, the session will investigate:
- What is the menopause?
- What are the psychological symptoms of menopause?
- What are the most common treatments and how to access support: including how to speak to your GP, busting the HRT myths, and the Balance app explained.
- Other menopause treatments.
- How lifestyle changes can help menopause symptoms.
- How to discuss and support menopause at work.
Learn more about the findings of the Menopause in the workplace | CIPD Report and the CIPD’s recommendations for employers.
Read the CIPDs guidance on how people managers can support employees: https://www.cipd.org/uk/knowledge/guides/menopause-people-manager-guidance/#carrying-out-risk-assessments-and-making-appropriate-adjustments
Find out more about World Menopause Day 2023 on 18 October: World Menopause Day – International Menopause Society (imsociety.org)
If you’re looking for more ways to support your employees and their physical and mental health and wellbeing, our dedicated employee benefits app Engage, which works in partnership with our online Engagement Hub, can help. Take a look at what we can offer your business and staff here.