Last month it was World Menopause Day. The good news is that I saw lots of coverage of this and compared to what was happening 10 years ago there is definitely more discussion of why menopause awareness matters in the workplace. Maybe it’s my age (I’m 50!) or maybe it’s because of media reporting but I’m really pleased that this is the case.
There were lots of statistics about the menopause flying around last month. Apparently almost a quarter of women are leaving their jobs because of it, despite the fact that most businesses now recognise that symptoms negatively impact work.
Less than 20% of all employees were aware of available support at work for when they suffer ill-health as a result of the menopause and we hear regularly of stories of women putting career ambitions on hold or leaving work altogether because of it. So what can employers do to support women in this situation? Let’s face it – 50% of the workforce will go through this at some point. That means employers need to put in place practical action to make a difference.
Where do you start? Here are my top tips for a menopause policy:
• Provide the opportunity for women to talk about the menopause – do you have a women’s interest group in your organisation?
• Flexible hours – over 30% of women polled would value the offer of flexible work patterns
• Mental health support – do you offer an EAP (employee assistance programme)? Many women would appreciate the chance to discuss their mental health
• Changes to temperature and ventilation – consider offering this
• Increased rest breaks – these can help many women
Hopefully lots of useful tips there. Remember, a menopause policy should ideally form part of your DEI strategy (diversity, equality and inclusion). There are many template policies to be found online so help is at hand. And if you need that extra support with policy drafting, communication and roll-out – I’d be only too delighted to assist☺.
By Ruth George – HR Consultant
This is not legal advice and is provided for general information only. © Ruth George HR Consulting.