Menopause in the workplace


Following an inquiry by the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee, it was concluded that there is still ‘considerable stigma’ surrounding talking about menopause at work. This is despite the survey showing how common menopause symptoms are within the workplace and how much they can have an impact. It is important to support those that are going through this normal life transition so that they feel comfortable continuing to work.

Companies need to understand the impact that menopause can have on their employees. Recognising and supporting this within the workplace can help to retain talented and experienced employees. Many may feel uncomfortable speaking up and asking for adjustments due to concerns of privacy and worrying about what the reaction of others would be. But, the adjustments are easy to implement and may make a real difference to women experiencing menopause symptoms.

Key findings of the inquiry found that

  • 31% of respondents have taken time off work due to menopause symptoms
  • Less than a third of respondents told anyone at work about their menopause symptoms and under 11% requested adjustments in the workplace due to their symptoms
  • The main reason for not requesting adjustments was to avoid the stigma as they worry about the reaction of others
  • Almost 20% did not know who to request adjustments to which caused them to not speak up

Symptoms of menopause can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Fatigue
  • Poor memory
  • Hot flushes
  • Irregular and heavy bleeding

These symptoms can result in:

  • Loss of confidence
  • Having to take time off work sick
  • Losing satisfaction with their job
  • Decreased productivity
  • Making the tough decision to leave their job

How can you support menopause in the workplace?

Regular conversations

Employers should support their staff throughout menopause, and therefore have regular conversations with those going through this. This helps to eliminate it as a ‘taboo’ subject. It also provides confidence to your staff experiencing menopause that the support and procedures are in place so that they can continue to work effectively. Employers should remain empathetic during these conversations.

Training managers

Managers could receive training relating to menopause to help provide employees with the confidence to come forward and start the conversation. Training may focus on: laws surrounding menopause, different stages, types, and effects of menopause, how to deal with sensitive issues, and support that they can implement.

Menopause policy

Developing a menopause policy and sharing it with the whole organisation will help staff to feel supported. This policy should be reviewed regularly and used when training a manager. Having a policy helps everyone within the business know what menopause is, all the effects, and what support is available. Additionally, it may help those going through menopause feel more confident to talk to employers about any issues they’re experiencing.

Managing sickness absence

Managing absence due to menopause should be handled sensitively because the symptoms can impact people differently. It’s best for employers to discuss with staff to see if there are any changes that they can implement to help them to do their job which may help them to avoid sick days. However, if an employee is off due to menopause, this should be recorded separately from other absences.

Health and Safety checks

By law, employers are responsible for the health and safety of all their staff, this includes when working from home. As an employer, you could carry out a risk assessment specifically for menopause, i.e., the temperature of the workplace, toilet facilities, training of managers, and uniform.

You can keep all your menopause policies and risk assessments on the safe system of oneHR. The documents are able to be accessible to all employees so that they can read at any time. This provides reassurance to your employees that you take menopause seriously within the workplace and have the necessary support in place.

If you would like to learn more about how oneHR can help you to support staff through menopause within the workplace, please contact our team here.


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