Menopause in the Workplace: Fostering Inclusion and Supporting Employee Well-being

The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) recent guidance[1] on menopause is a positive step towards building a more inclusive workplace for women experiencing this natural transition. While menopause itself isn’t automatically considered a disability, the associated symptoms can be, especially if they’re severe and long-lasting.  

Research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development reveals that two-thirds (67%) of working women aged 40-60 experiencing these symptoms report a mostly negative impact on their work [2]. This highlights why supporting employees experiencing menopause is important to recognise and goes beyond a legal responsibility, it’s also a smart workforce decision.

As employers we can help offer a comfortable work environment during menopause, factoring in several adjustments. These include offering temperature control options like adjustable thermostats or personal fans, along with improved ventilation to combat hot flashes. Dedicated areas to rest with comfortable seating can provide a space for employees to manage fatigue or temperature fluctuations. Employers could also implement a relaxed uniform policy which can give an individual greater comfort throughout the day. In addition, offering flexible work arrangements, access to coaching programs and mental health resources can also significantly benefit both your employees and your business.

Studies show that additional support for employees can lead to:

Increased employee retention: By addressing menopause-related challenges, businesses can prevent talent loss and foster a loyal workforce.

Improved employee well-being: Feeling supported can significantly improve employee morale and overall well-being.

Enhanced productivity: When employees can manage their symptoms effectively, they’re more likely to be productive and focused at work.

At iDiversity we welcome the EHRC’s recent guidance and hope it helps pave the way towards a more inclusive workplace for employees experiencing menopausal symptoms.

Resources – Guidance for employers. – Advice and information for women on their reproductive health  – Information about the menopause, menopausal symptoms and treatment options Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)