Although women over 50 are the fastest-growing demographic in the UK workforce, a recent poll by the Fawcett Society and Channel 4 found that one in ten women had left their job because of symptoms of the menopause.
In the UK, the government is taking steps to support women experiencing menopause in the workplace. Employers and occupational health services also play a crucial role in ensuring a comfortable and inclusive environment for these women.
UK government’s role in supporting menopause in the workplace
Recognising the need for better support, the UK government has appointed a Menopause Employment Champion. Helen Tomlinson, Head of Talent at The Adecco Group, will perform this voluntary role, working alongside the Department for Work and Pensions, to engage with businesses, raise awareness, and improve support for women experiencing menopause at work.
“I have witnessed the transformational power that opening up conversations on the menopause can have in a workplace. By creating safe spaces by educating management and creating allies across workforces, women can be supported and empowered to manage their symptoms and thrive in work.”
How employers can support employees experiencing menopause
Menopause can bring on various symptoms. The most common difficulties affecting work performance include hot flushes, irregular periods, tiredness, mood swings, poor concentration, increased anxiety and lowered confidence. Creating a supportive work environment for employees going through menopause is essential for fostering their well-being and productivity.
Employers can take various measures, such as implementing flexible working hours, offering paid menopause leave, and providing a comfortable workplace with temperature control and private spaces. These adjustments can significantly improve working conditions for women experiencing menopause.
Occupational health services for menopause support
Occupational health services can be critical in assisting employees going through menopause. These services can provide essential support for employees navigating this challenging phase of their lives by offering counselling, information on coping strategies, and access to medical professionals.
Alongside our Occupational Health Services, managing the menopause is a key focus for our practice. Dr Justine Setchell holds the British Menopause Society’s Advanced Certificate of Menopause Care and is on the BMS’s specialist register. Both Dr Fiona Payne and Dr Setchell have many years of experience in women’s health and menopause care.