The Need For Menopause Policy at Work Increases as 3.5 Million Consider Quitting Due to Menopause Symptoms

The Need For Menopause Policy at Work Increases as 3.5 Million Consider Quitting Due to Menopause Symptoms
Photo Credits - Dane Deaner via Unsplash

The talent pot could be set to take another blow as millions of working women consider resigning due to an insufficient menopause policy at work. This is disastrous for employers, as they are already experiencing a severe skills shortage, which looks set to expand. Henceforth, it’s paramount that employers prioritise menopause support in the workplace, addressing any identified shortfalls.

In this article, we scrutinise Simplyhealth’s recent report on working women’s views and delve into the impacts of menopause at work. We also look at measures employers can take to reduce them.

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The Menopause Policy at Work Void

Simplyhealth reports that 23% of women have considered leaving work due to menstrual or menopause symptoms affecting their jobs. Worryingly, 14% are ready to quit immediately due to symptoms impacting their concentration, productivity, and comfort.

What’s more, 87% of females have stressed their desire for greater employee support concerning their health. In addition to flexible working practices, respondents have outlined their aspirations for time off for healthcare appointments and menopausal leave.

READ: First Menopause Discrimination Case in the UK: What Should Employers Keep in Mind?

Unfortunately, it appears a lack of menopause support in the workplace is prompting so many women to contemplate their resignation. The report emphasised that only a quarter of employers offered any menopause policy at work. But even then, only 9% of working women can take time off specifically due to their symptoms.

As such, it’s clear that not enough employers are offering support for women experiencing menopause at work. Even the ones that are, appear to be falling well below the standard expected by their workers.

The Career Impacts of Menopause and Peri-Menopause

Employers must comprehend the challenges these women face to understand the need for a menopause policy at work. But before highlighting menopause symptoms that could be affecting a woman’s career, it’s essential to mention peri-menopause

This term refers to the period around menopause when the female body transitions to it. Despite women not technically being menopausal at such a stage, they may face similar symptoms and thus require comparable support.

Menopause policy at work: symptoms can include brain fog, fatigue and hot flashes.

Whether a woman is experiencing menopause or peri-menopause, the symptoms they may face include:

  • Brain fog – a non-medical term used to describe symptoms such as poor concentration, forgetfulness and mental fatigue
  • Physical fatigue
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Hot flashes
  • Disrupted menstrual cycles

All of the above could impact how effectively and safely women carry out their jobs. As such, offering a complete menopause policy at work is essential.

Menopause and the Workplace – The Right Support

A comprehensive policy must be introduced to ensure menopausal women are adequately supported in the workplace. To begin, the menopause policy at work should aim to educate the workforce. By teaching employees about the menopause symptoms their colleagues could be experiencing, the workplace could become more understanding. This could lead to better management decisions and more pleasant employee interactions.

Moving on, a crucial element of support includes flexible working practices. Just like when an employee is ill, it can be far easier to manage their symptoms at home. They would be more comfortable and significantly more able to take breaks should their symptoms become too much. As a result, they could better manage their workload.

READ: Flexible Working Is For Lazy Employees Claim CEOs

However, that is not the only flexibility an employer could offer to provide menopause support in the workplace. Flexibility could also comprise adaptable working conditions, such as fans, air conditioning, or ergonomic office chairs. Measures like fans and air-con could help mitigate hot flashes, while superior chair support could alleviate physical symptoms.

But the above only supports women physically; what about mentally? Well, whether employers look from within or reach out externally, they should consider counselling and well-being services. Among other things, this could include stress management, mindfulness practices, guidance concerning nutrition and fitness classes. Should the menopause policy at work factor in these elements, women could enjoy a complete support package, leading to happier and healthier employees. Consequently, a more engaged, productive workforce could result.

Finally, should a menopausal woman’s symptoms become too much, employers should consider specific leave for their circumstances. Such leave should be excluded from regular attendance records and shouldn’t be considered when making decisions about an employee’s historical absences. By taking such measures, the employee would feel more valued in their time of need, and the employer would create a more equitable workplace.

Menopause Policy at Work – Our Final Thoughts

When considering Simplyhealth’s report, it’s evident there’s a disparity between the support menopausal women want and what they’re being offered. These findings shouldn’t be taken lightly, and employers must act promptly to avoid losing talent.

While some employers offer a menopause policy at work, this support has proved insufficient. And that’s not to mention the many that provide nothing at all. 

Flexible working is a common starting point and a great way to begin assisting menopausal women. That said, the aid offered needs to go much further, and employers must consider ways to assist such individuals’ physical and mental health.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article about the importance of a menopause policy at work. For more updates from the employment law sector, subscribe to our newsletter now! You can do this by clicking the button at the top. If you have any employment law issues, contact Redmans Solicitors today.


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