Is anyone talking about menopause at work?
The Covid-19 lockdown has sparked many issues for employees ranging from financial worriesand concerns about job security, to an increase in millions of women experiencing increased anxiety as they go through the menopause during this time.
For many, their place of work has changed, as people have been forced to adapt to a new way of working. Supporting your employees with menopausal symptoms should still be an area of continued focus, irrelevant of whether your employees are working from the office or remotely.
It has been reported that for every ten women experiencing menopausal symptoms, six say it has a negative impact on their work, and while symptoms may be easier for women to manage at home, if that is the case, being able to talk openly about the menopause at work prevents women from suffering in silence.
HR and people professionals play a crucial role in creating a supportive culture, and it is important to ensure that your managers are equipped with the tools to be able to have such conversations and act as a direct source of support for women experiencing menopause in the workplace.
What can HR do to help support women experiencing menopause?
- Develop policies, checklists, guides and information leaflets.
- Coach, guide and train managers to support their teams.
- Support with reasonable adjustments if required.
- Create conversations – find ways to open up these topics.
- Get everyone on board and break the taboo.
- Support employees after lockdown – have their circumstances changed?
What are the benefits of acting now?
- Increased engagement and loyalty
- Lower sickness absence and employee turnover
- Removal of barriers
- Upskilling your managers
Remember, menopause is protected under the equalities Act 2010, so you have a legal responsibility as an employer to support employees going through it and suffering from symptoms.
What are you doing in your organisation to get everyone talking about menopause? What do you need to do to keep the conversations going? Would support with developing and implementing a policy or training for your managers benefit your business? Is it time that your organisation became menopause friendly?
Author: Katie Fletcher FCIPD, Senior HR Projects Advisor at Howarths