Workplace Wellbeing
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Nick Babington on how to support the wellbeing of your staff during menopause.
For most women, menopause will be a challenging period of life. Symptoms vary from person to person, but statistics show that these changes can lead to drastic shifts in daily living. What once were simple tasks may now become strenuous, mental health can decline, and physical symptoms have the potential to make work a struggle.
For a long time, menopause has remained taboo, a subject avoided in workplaces and misunderstood by many. But with new emerging research and conversations starting to open up, we’re now seeing just how big the impacts of menopause can be.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the statistics to learn more about menopause. We’ll also cover common symptoms and ways to look after yourself throughout menopause.
Menopause statistics 
It’s hard to understand the scope of menopause and its effects without going through it yourself. But diving into the statistics allows us a deeper insight into how many women are affected and what they experience.
  • 62% of women said the symptoms of menopause interfere with their quality of life.1
  • Menopause symptoms can last up to 15 years.2
  • Half of women with symptoms said they feel depressed, and more than a third said they suffer from anxiety.3
  • 90% of women seek support for menopausal symptoms.4
  • 72% of women in work say they feel unsupported throughout menopause.2
  • It’s estimated that around 12 million women are going through or have reached menopause in the UK.5
  • 1 in 100 women in the UK experiences early menopause before the age of 40.6
  • 80% of women experience hot flushes during menopause.7
Menopause can significantly impact a person’s life, putting them through an emotional, physical, and mental struggle.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to step in and make changes to support those going through this process.
Many employees in your organisation are likely to be struggling with menopause at work, and UK statistics2 suggest that approximately 13 million people are either peri- or post-menopausal. As a result, you must work to understand the impacts of menopause and how to support your staff.
This article will cover what menopause is, why it’s important to support employees, and how to introduce a menopause policy in your workplace.
Why is supporting menopause at work important?
According to the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM) 8, eight out of 10 menopausal people are at work. This statistic further highlights the likeliness that many employees may be undergoing hormonal changes associated with menopause.
As an employer, you must work to alleviate these symptoms, helping to improve employee health, well-being, and performance.
For many menopausal people, going to work and being successful is beneficial, and it provides a sense of fulfilment and helps boost self-esteem. Your organisation will also benefit from higher morale, retaining valuable talent, and reducing sickness absences.
Managing menopause at work 
To help your organisation develop a positive workplace, we have listed several factors to consider when dealing with menopause at work:
  • Educate all employees: Gain a better understanding of menopause by researching the subject. By becoming more knowledgeable on the issue, managers and supervisors will become more approachable.
  • Help strengthen relationships: Ask employees how they feel and conduct regular check-ins. These can provide a comfortable platform to voice any concerns.
  • Provide reasonable adjustments: When an employee’s mental and physical health is affected, provide them with reasonable adjustments. These might include flexible work hours, reduced workload, or additional equipment.
  • Treat cases individually: Every person in your organisation is different–so treat cases individually. Do not assume that every menopause-related problem has the same solution.
  • Review all issues raised: Raising a health issue to a manager can be difficult, especially if their supervisor is of the opposite sex. All managers must approach conversations with empathy and not be embarrassed when discussing the issue.
Menopause at Work Policy
Coping with menopause at work can be difficult for many employees. According to recent statistics, 72% of menopausal employees say they feel unsupported at work.2
Many believe they are unable to discuss menopause with their superiors openly. And many organisations across the UK struggle with providing the right menopause at-work guidance.
To tackle this, one of the first steps you can take is creating a menopause policy. Here are some factors to include in your menopause policy at work:
  • Communication: Employees need to talk about health concerns like menopause. Discuss how it may affect them during work and how you can offer support.
  • Confidentiality: Once they bring up the subject, the conversation must be kept confidential. Employees should know they can trust your organisation with personal problems.
  • Understanding: You can provide workshops on menopause rights at work and how to handle situations with employees.
Over time, social stigma has resulted in menopause becoming a taboo subject. The negative perceptions surrounding menopause mean it is often overlooked in the workplace.
Sign the Menopause Workplace Pledge
The Menopause Workplace Pledge is a campaign led by Wellbeing of Women that encourages employers to step up and take positive action.9 By signing the workplace pledge, employers are committing to supporting their employees with menopause issues. This important campaign highlights to employees that they can talk to managers at work about how menopause is impacting them in their roles. Opening up the conversation in this way sets the stage for a supportive work environment where employees and managers can work together to find solutions.
  • Santoro N. Perimenopause: From Research to Practice. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2016 Apr;25(4):332-9. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2015.5556. Epub 2015 Dec 10. PMID: 26653408; PMCID: PMC4834516.
  • Bansal R, Aggarwal N. Menopausal Hot Flashes: A Concise Review. J Midlife Health. 2019 Jan-Mar;10(1):6-13. doi: 10.4103/jmh.JMH_7_19. PMID: 31001050; PMCID: PMC6459071.
This article was written for the Consulting Room Magazine.
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Nick Babington is the sales director of Health Assured. He leads the growth of Health Assured’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) service through insurer and provider partnerships, insurance brokers, occupational health partners and the direct market. His main objective is to drive workplace wellbeing with industry-leading employee support across organisations of all sizes. Contact him at

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