World Menopause Day is held on 18 October every year to raise awareness, break the stigma and highlight the support available for improving health and wellbeing for those going through the menopause.
This is an issue that affects half the population and one that employers should not ignore. Over 4 million women between the ages of 45 and 60 are employed in the UK and menopausal women are the fastest-growing group of workers. Sadly, due to struggling through work on limited sleep, reduced confidence, lack of energy and hot flushes, without the necessary support from their employers, two thirds of women report being negatively affected at work and 1 in 10 leave the workforce altogether.
Speaking up about menopause in the workplace isn’t easy and a lot of women are suffering in silence. Added to this, many line managers feel uncomfortable discussing these issues because they lack the awareness and confidence to do so.
Today serves as a reminder to employers to consider the unique needs and challenges that women may face during this stage of their lives. Creating a supportive and inclusive working environment contributes to employee retention, work satisfaction and overall health and wellbeing.
Employers are advised to take the following steps to support and protect their employees suffering from menopausal symptoms:
- Consider the workplace culture to determine whether there is an awareness of menopause.
- Ensure employees have adequate opportunity to request support and have open conversations.
- Consider whether there are adequate facilities in the workplace, such as toilets, changing rooms, fans, cold water and quiet rest and recovery areas.
- Ensure up-to-date policies and procedures are in place.
- Avoid viewing menopause as solely a ‘women’s issue’ and include all staff in conversations and training around the menopause.
If you would like to discuss how your business can support employees and train managers, or if you are an employee suffering with menopause symptoms at work, please contact our Employment Team on 0345 646 0406 or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our Team will be very happy to assist.