Experts share 6 ways businesses can accommodate menopausal employees

With nearly half (45%) of people going through the menopause feeling that their  symptoms have had a negative impact on their work, it’s clear that this is an area where workplace gender equality must improve.

As well as directly affecting the individual going through menopause, it can indirectly affect other groups closely associated with the person experiencing symptoms.

For this reason, it’s important that menopause is fully understood in the workplace so that policies, adjustments and considerations can be made to contribute to a menopause friendly environment.

Catherine Hickabottom, Learning and Development Manager at High Speed Training, a leading provider of online workplace training, shares some key considerations for employers…

Provide small adjustments that will have a big impact

Catherine says: “Ensuring employees with menopausal symptoms are as comfortable as possible is crucial to overall morale and productivity. Employers can introduce supportive adjustments such as having fans at the desks, better ventilation, easy access to drinking water and easy access to toilets and washing facilities.

“If you work in an industry where uniform or PPE is required, it’s also important to make adjustments to uniforms and required clothing where possible.”

Introduce policies which create a framework of support

Catherine says: “Ultimately, policies are put in place to keep your service users and staff safe. Policies set out your approach, attitude and values in a specific area, informing staff why certain initiatives and behaviours are important. They’re also instrumental in preventing discrimination, challenging the stigma associated with menopause.

“Whether the policy explicitly explains the company’s stance on menopause, or incorporates menopause considerations within absence or sickness policies, implementing such measures will help to boost employee confidence.”

Be flexible

Catherine says: “Flexibility in the workplace generally is a great way to make your employees feel trusted, comfortable and satisfied. Offering flexibility, especially in relation to menopause provides affected employees with control that they may have otherwise felt they have lost.

“Flexibility may take the form of flexible working arrangements, such as working from home or a space where they feel most comfortable. Additionally, you could offer flexible working hours so employees can attend doctor’s appointments. You may also want to consider allowing additional breaks where required.”

Help others to understand through training

Catherine says: “A 2022 House of Commons Committee Report2 concluded that menopause still carries significant social and cultural stigma, particularly for certain groups, including LGBT+ people and young and ethnic minority women, highlighting a lack of understanding amongst employees and employers.

“Offering a menopause awareness course in the workplace is crucial to an inclusive and supportive environment. It helps raise awareness among employees, promotes empathy, and equips colleagues and managers with the knowledge to effectively accommodate and understand the unique challenges that individuals experiencing menopause may face. This proactive approach contributes to a healthier and more understanding workplace culture.”

Create a safe and open space

Catherine says: “As well as training and policies on menopause awareness, provide a safe space and the opportunity for employees to discuss how they are feeling. A workplace with good communication processes allows for greater understanding generally.

Break the stigma

Catherine says: “A part of creating an environment that is safe and open, includes ensuring that those experiencing menopause feel validated. This can be achieved through challenging the ‘taboo’ of menopause and encouraging open discussion around it, as well as breaking down negative stereotypes.

“In no way should menopause be an acceptable topic for jokes or workplace ‘banter’. The introduction of policies can set an expectation of employee conduct, encouraging a safe and respectful environment.”

For more information about High Speed Training and their menopause awareness course, visit here: https://www.highspeedtraining.co.uk/courses/business-essentials/menopause-awareness-training/  

About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4367 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.