Wrightway Health

Providing support to employees who are going through menopause

For some, this is a sensitive subject, however, the stigma of the menopause needs to be overcome as some of the symptoms can be challenging for many. The menopause is when menstruation stops, usually occurring to women aged 45 and above. With approximately 3.5 million women working in the UK over the age of 50, employers need to provide support to those who struggle with menopause.

Symptoms of menopause vary from person to person but can include: tiredness and fatigue, disturbed sleep patterns, hot flushes and night sweats, joint and muscle pain, poor concentration, heart palpitations and memory problems. It can even cause conditions such as cystitis and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Imagine this, over the course of four to eight years, every day whilst not feeling confident enough to discuss it!

So what can you do, as an employer, to help your staff who could be suffering at work?

  • Employers should take a positive stance regarding menopause. By discussing the difficulties and providing information, you will increase awareness and encourage people not to suffer in silence.
  • It’s understandable that some women won’t want to talk about what they’re going through with their manager, so they should be given other points of contact such as Human Resources or an Occupation Health provider.
  • Workstation adaptations can be made to make people feel more comfortable at work such as positioning workers away from heat sources to help control hot flushes.
  • Training should be provided to employees, especially management, so they understand how the menopause can impact on working women.
  • Some people may begin to feel unwell at work, so make sure your sickness absence policy is flexible.

Advice from the right Occupational Health provider can be a great help in approaching this infrequently discussed subject. Symptoms can have a massive impact on the lives of those suffering with the condition and taking the correct steps to help them can make a difference.

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