Managing the effects of the menopause - is your business prepared?
Posted on 4th November 2022 at 10:38
Managing the effects of the menopause at work is important for both employers and their staff.
With World Menopause Day on the 18th October every year, it’s becoming a more common topic in the workplace. We’ve even seen awareness being raised by celebrities, joined by thousands to make this subject more widely understood.
What is the demographic of your team and are you prepared?
For those experiencing menopausal symptoms it can be a difficult and stressful time. Everyone will experience the menopause differently and for some, symptoms can be quite severe and can affect people both physically and mentally.
It's important for employers to be aware of all of the people who might go through the menopause and menopause symptoms and to support them all equally; did you know that this does not just mean women, but can apply to ‘trans’ people, and people with ‘variations of sex development’?
The menopause usually happens between 45 and 55 years of age but it can also happen earlier or later in someone's life. For many people symptoms last about 4 years, but in some cases symptoms can last a lot longer.
For employers, the menopause is a health and wellbeing concern for staff and needs to be handled sensitively.
It's important for employers to be aware that the menopause and its symptoms can affect staff at any time. Being aware of this can help staff continue to do their job confidently and effectively.
Although the menopause will only be experienced by women and other people who have a menstrual cycle, men should also be included in conversations and training you may provide. This is because they might be supporting others going through it; they may even experience the effects of it if is a direct colleague or line manager.
Supporting and creating a positive and open environment by raising awareness and ensuring there is training and support available in the workplace is essential to help the affected person, and the team that surrounds them.
These preparations between an employer, someone affected by the menopause, and the team can help prevent the person from:
losing confidence in their skills and abilities
feeling like they need to take time off work and hide the reasons for it
having increased mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression
leaving their job
Training and support for other also works both ways, as enhancing awareness now may also help to protect your business if an employee or worker is put at a disadvantage or treated less favourably because of their menopause symptoms.
Make sure you have the tools in place to ensure that any actions or attitudes towards someone suffering with symptoms are measured and not considered discriminatory as they maybe if connected to a protected characteristic.
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