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Menopause is a natural part of the ageing process for almost half of the population, but it is still a subject often shrouded in embarrassment and lack of knowledge. As an employer, it’s important to know how menopause can affect your staff in the workplace and have policies and procedures in place to ensure your staff are cared for.
Menopause and the Workplace
Evidence has shown that some people may not feel comfortable discussing menopause-related health problems and their impact on work with their managers and may not ask for the support or adjustments they may need. This highlights the importance of ensuring that managers, HR, and staff are aware of the organisation’s menopause policy and are able to offer clear support to staff experiencing menopausal symptoms.
It’s important to note that some staff will not require any additional support, while others may experience more severe symptoms and may need additional support at work to help them cope with the impact of their symptoms. Each situation is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to supporting staff experiencing menopause.
Legal Implications of Menopause in the Workplace:
While there are no clear legal repercussions for not having a menopause policy or offering support for menopausal symptoms, it’s worth considering the following:
- The Equality Act (2010) protects workers against discrimination
- The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) requires employers to, where reasonably practical, ensure everyone’s health, safety, and welfare at work
- If an organisation’s lack of menopausal support infringes upon either of these acts, it could be considered discrimination or a breach of health and safety regulations
Therefore, it’s worth considering offering menopause support to ensure that your organisation is not at risk of violating these laws.
Managing Menopause in the Workplace
The best way to manage menopause in the workplace is by having a menopause policy. This will clearly indicate to staff what they can and cannot expect. It is also important for staff to know that they can talk to Human Resources when they need support and adjustments.
Providing a comprehensive menopause policy will ensure that your staff feels valued and satisfied. In addition to this, managing menopausal staff proficiently will reduce sickness absence due to menopausal symptoms and retain valued staff in the workplace.
Guardian Support has created robust HR policies across many different industries. If you require assistance with a policy or need the help of our HR consultants to deal with a menopause-related issue at your workplace, get in touch with us today.
What is Menopause?
Menopause is the transitional phase triggered by a natural decline in hormones. It officially begins 12 months after a person’s last menstrual period, but symptoms can occur many months before and for years afterwards.
Perimenopause, which is a period that may occur before and after menopause, presents with the same symptoms as menopause. Both of these transitional periods can take place at any age between 40 and 60. 1 in 100 women experience menopausal symptoms before the age of 40, while the average age for menopause is 51. However, it can occur earlier or later due to surgery, illness, or other factors.
It’s important to note that menopause does not only affect female-presenting individuals. Non-binary, trans, and intersex individuals may also experience menopausal symptoms, and it’s important for organisations to consider them when creating a menopause policy.
What are the Common Symptoms of Menopause?
There is a wide variation in the symptoms that a person may experience, and each symptom can range from mild to severe. Some common symptoms of menopause and perimenopause include:
- Difficulty sleeping and night sweats
- Feeling tired and lacking energy
- Mood swings, anxiety and panic attacks
- Hot flushes
- Difficulty remembering things and concentration and focus issues
- Longer recovery from illness,
- Aches and pains, including muscle and joint stiffness
- Skin irritation and dry eyes
This is not a complete list of menopause and perimenopause symptoms, as every body is different.
Why Choose Guardian Support?
At Guardian Support, our team of highly skilled and experienced HR consultants is dedicated to providing you with practical, solution-oriented advice that takes into account your unique business needs. With a wealth of knowledge and experience across a range of industries, our HR advisors are qualified and well-suited to support your business in achieving its goals.
We understand that every situation is different, and we approach each case with a non-judgmental, commercially-focused mindset to help you find the best path forward. Trust us to provide you with the expert guidance and support you need to succeed.
Our HR consultants can be your first line of contact when issues like this arise, so give us a call on 0845 2626 260 to find out more about our services