Menopause in the Workplace

05 Mar 2024

Published in: Member News

In my recent Blog I share why organisation need to support Woman in the workplace going through the Menopause

Supporting Menopause in the Workplace For many years we have been working with businesses to educate leaders and employees alike on the topic of Perimenopause and Menopause.

The more we understand, the more we can create truly inclusive workforces. This was born out of my own personal experience with the challenges of perimenopause. I wanted to learn more for many reasons. The biggest factor was having the ability to educate and empower more people in business to support each other.

Recently the Equality for Human Rights Centre (ERHC) made headlines last week, by stating employers can be sued if they fail to make reasonable adjustments for women going through the menopause. Over the past week there has been a lot of confusion, talk and debates about what menopause is a is not. What organisations and employees would benefit from when it comes to menopause at work is that, we ALL need to have an awareness of it an understand what our responsibilities are when it comes to supporting those going through it – it is important that organisations have a responsibility for the health and safety of their employees experiencing peri menopause and menopausal symptoms. The thing here to note is that how we function and live when our hormones decline can be challenging. Most woman will have oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone reductions. These changes effect people differently from person to person. So, whilst the new guidelines are great we must remember that each person’s experience is different, their needs and support specific to them, we must also remember that menopause doesn’t define us. We are more than the menopause. We have skills, strengths, and lots more to give organisations. The number of tribunals citing menopause has tripled, yet staff awareness and training are still lacking in some businesses. It isn’t something that can be fixed and go away. It’s something that most woman will go through and it effects all of us.

They key here is engaging in awareness and training so businesses can implement various approaches to provide support for all Last year Matt Holman called me, and I was working from home, I have to share and quite embarrassing on the day I was sat at my laptop crying. I hesitated to answer the phone, then thought, I am who I am today and answered it. Matt was shocked and supportive. The conversation went like this. Matt asked in the kindest way ‘why are you crying’ can I do anything to support? As you would as a caring manager. I replied with ‘I don’t know’ I’m just having a bad day. I could not pinpoint that day why I was crying. I was thankful to be working from home that day. I’m comfortable to share I have had a few days like this and sometimes I have pushed myself to carry on, where I just wanted to curl up in bed. The next day I felt a little better, and the next much better. I hear this with many other women in that they are having the same experience and can’t explain why. These days don’t and should not define people.

There are tough days, but there are great days too. Had I have been working in an office that day, I think I may have needed a quiet space to work, or explored the option to work from home. The guidelines from the EHRC provides employers with a reminder of the existing legal framework to support menopause in the workplace, and provides suggestions for employers to adjust their working environment to manage risk, including;

• Change in temperature and ventilation

• Provide rest areas • Relaxing uniform policies

• Making variations to working arrangements, including varying shift patterns, or allowing staff to work from home You can read the full report from the EHRC here – This article will help you to familiarise yourself more and how you can make a difference supporting woman experiencing menopausal symptoms.

We at Simpila Wellbeing have been already, and want to work with organisations nationally to help make progress to remove the stigma and educate everyone where possible in all sectors. We have designed a number of training for menopause, awareness, management and champions. Our training is not just about policy at all. It also unpacks;

• What is the perimenopause and menopause?

• The symptoms and the impact on the person, and secondary impact

• Where can people get help

• Diet and exercise .Small adjustments workplaces can make a big difference

• Practical tools for Managers

• Support in having difficult conversations

• Digital apps to support and manage menopause

• Sources of support relating to Andropause and testosterone

• Minimise the risk of litigation

Our training is backed up by sources who are experts in their field. We are passionate in guiding people to the wide range of options that are out there to people at a certain stage in their life. People who are finding it more challenging personally and want to better manage menopause. It also bolsters managers and employee awareness too, that helps them to understand menopause better, creating a culture of transparency, trust, and care.

We will continue to keep the momentum going by keeping our clients updated on changes and guidance and also encourage people to talk about menopause. Encouraging an open dialogue is key, so providing bitesize workshops, training and the more information we all have at our grasp as individuals and as leaders strengthens relationships and culture.

If you would like to discuss how to support your Team and Organisation with Menopause in the workplace please get in touch with either my email or mobile; Mobile: 07956 897293.

Thank you for taking the time to read our Blog - I hope it turn is adds value or provides more clarity.

Submitted by Kerry from Simpila Mental Health
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