Reviewed by Dr Lee Smith, Associate Professor of Public Health
Does your business have a menopause policy? These tips for businesses on how to better support women experiencing menopause symptoms within the workplace are essential – from controlling temperatures, flexible working and holding awareness sessions to educate colleagues.
As the media continue to highlight the negative experiences some women have suffered when going through menopause at work, Healthily, have introduced a menopause policy to help support their own employees
With menopause affecting most women aged between 45-55, the importance of supporting employees experiencing symptoms in the workplace is paramount.
With reports across the country highlighting the experiences some women are having when experiencing menopause[i][i] (which include having to leave jobs, or take unpaid leave), online medical advice service, Healthily, has introduced a policy to help train managers and make office working easier for employees.
Symptoms of menopause can often include hot flushes, headaches, and anxiety, along with a number of other less common symptoms like problems with memory and concentration. These symptoms are very likely to have an impact on an individual’s mindset and in turn could go on to impact an employee’s performance.
There are several things that workplaces can put in place to help women that are experiencing symptoms. As part of the new policy, Healthily has put in place the below measures which could be easily adapted to other work environments.
Hot flushes are known to be one of the main symptoms of menopause, therefore having a comfortable office temperature can help, chilled water and desk fans are also a good way to further support.
Difficulty sleeping can no doubt impact an individual’s concentration levels throughout the day, and as this is also a common symptom of menopause, encouraging flexible working and a change in hours could really help an individual. Offering reduced hours for a period of time may also be beneficial.
Knowledge and education around menopause needs to be improved, and this is currently highlighted within the media. Having expert-led sessions on the subject will help build further understanding. These should aim to increase awareness and provide information on the subject areas. Encouraging managers to attend these is crucial to helping support all staff members.
Geraldine Butler-Wright, Chief People and Culture Officer, at Healthily:
“Menopause in the workplace is a huge topic within the media at the moment and some of the stories from women are very disheartening to hear.
We introduced our policy to not only help support our colleagues that are going through menopause, but to also educate our managers who may not have huge amounts of knowledge on the subject.
“At healthily we encourage our staff to speak to their line manager, or HR teams if they’re experiencing any of the symptoms of menopause. From this, we can then work together to ensure they are fully supported within their role and have access to everything they need.”