For both companies and their personnel, managing the impacts of menopause at work is crucial.
It can be a challenging and stressful period for people who are suffering from symptoms. Each person will go through menopause in a unique way, and for some, the symptoms can be quite severe and have an impact on both physical and mental health.
Most women and other persons who have a monthly cycle are affected by menopause, which is a natural stage of life. This may consist of:
- people with "variations of sex development" (VSD) - some people might prefer to identify as intersex or use the phrase "differences in sex development"
- trans people - "trans" is an umbrella term used to describe people whose gender is not the same as the sex they were assigned at birth (DSD)
Employers should be aware of everyone who might experience menopause and its symptoms and should treat them all equally.
Menopause can occur earlier or later in life, although it often occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. Most people's symptoms linger for around 4 years, however, they could stay much longer.
Menopause is divided into three stages:
Moreover, some people may go through medical menopause sooner in their lives or experience early menopause. Employers should take into account the potential medical complexity of these types of menopause when providing support for their employees.
Menopause comes in various stages and forms, and each person will experience the condition in their own unique way.
Find out more from; Menopause - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Why is it important for employers to understand the menopause?
Menopause is a health and welfare concern for employees that needs to be managed delicately by companies.
Employers need to be aware that staff members can experience the menopause and associated symptoms at any moment. Staff can continue to perform their duties with confidence and effectiveness by being aware of this.
The menopause can also affect the family members, partners, co-workers, or carers of a person going through the menopause.
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. This is because they might be supporting others going through it.
Supporting and creating a positive and open environment between an employer and someone affected by the menopause 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
When someone experiences discrimination
If menopause symptoms are linked to a protected feature, it may be discriminatory to disfavour or treat someone less favourably due to such symptoms.
How can we help?
Here at Smooth Commercial Law, we can put together a menopause policy for employers which is essential in ensuring that employees are fairly and considerately treated.
If you would to speak with a member of the team who can advise you on drafting a menopause policy for your workplace call 0800 046 9976 or email email@example.com.