Menopause at work: policies, practices and support

What are the issues to overcome addressing the effects of the menopause?

Worldwide, it’s estimated that around half of all menopausal women work during their menopausal years. That’s around 328 million women. But with a general lack of understanding about menopausal symptoms and health issues associated with Menopause not recognised or talked about in the workplace, it’s estimated that around 52% of all menopausal women consider leaving employment.

What is the Menopause?

Menopause is a natural event in most women’s lives that usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. During this time, they stop having periods and experience hormonal changes, such as a decrease in oestrogen levels. Typically it lasts between four and eight years, although each woman’s experience will differ. Menopausal symptoms vary in severity and commonly include hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety, headaches, fatigue, reduced concentration, memory loss and loss of confidence.

Perimenopause is the time leading up to Menopause, when women experience changes, such as irregular periods or other menopausal symptoms. Post menopause is the time after Menopause has occurred, starting when a woman has not had a period for twelve consecutive months.

52% of menopausal women consider leaving work

Typical questions employees with the menopause may ask

Questions asked in the workplace include:

  • Is Menopause recognised in the workplace?
  • How do you deal with menopausal co-workers?
  • What is a menopause-friendly workplace?
  • What can employers do to support Menopause?
  • Is there a menopause leave policy?
  • How do you start a menopause in the workplace policy?
  • Can I have time off for Menopause?
  • How can I manage Menopause at work?
  • Is Menopause classed as a medical condition?
  • Is Menopause classed as a disability in the UK?
  • Should I tell my boss about Menopause?
  • Can you be signed off work with Menopause?

How to establish a menopause in the workplace policy

With Menopause in the workplace such a huge issue, affecting performance, productivity, morale and absenteeism, it’s essential that organisations adopt a formalised menopause policy. This includes providing menopause training for managers and HR professionals, menopause talks, eLearning and other resources, promoting open dialogue and better understanding of Menopause in the workplace, ensuring appropriate help and support is available for those who need it.

At UKIM OH, our ‘Menopause in the Workplace’ team has the experience and expertise to launch a menopause workplace policy within your company, enabling you to commit to a menopause workplace pledge that covers such areas as menopause symptoms, menopause health and safety, government policy on menopause, menopause leave policy, menopause discrimination and NHS menopause policy.

With the right help and support, facilitated by our Occupational Health ‘Menopause in the Workplace’ team, women in your organisation can feel supported and more able to cope during this time of change, helping to facilitate open dialogue and mental wellbeing, significantly increasing productivity and reducing sickness absenteeism within the workplace.

To find out more about our Occupational Health Menopause services and how they could benefit your business, please contact us for a no-obligation discussion.

Call us on 0191 512 8220 or email: