New guidance on menopause at work

18 Oct 2019

Around two million women face difficulties in work because of one of the workplace’s biggest taboos: the menopause. That’s a significant number of women currently dealing with symptoms which can be severe and temporarily debilitating. And traditionally, very hard to talk about.

Workplace experts Acas have today published new guidance to help employers and managers break the silence to support staff who are affected by menopause symptoms at work.

While there are an increasing number of women speaking out about the impact that the menopause can have, we are only just beginning to shift the stigma that stops conversations and leaves women and employers lacking the right support and information. Nearly a third of women surveyed in a CIPD poll2 (30%) said they had taken sick leave because of their symptoms, but only a quarter of them felt able to tell their manager the real reason for their absence, because of “embarrassment” and/or “an unsupportive manager.”

Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, shares why the new guidance is crucial for businesses, and how it can help both employers and employees:

“Menopause will impact many working women who may feel too embarrassed to raise symptoms that are having a detrimental impact on their work. This can result in affected staff taking time off work unnecessarily when some simple measures could help them to continue to work comfortably.

“Our new advice can help employers make their workplaces inclusive and welcoming to all their staff with top tips around how to manage menopause effectively at work and keep within the law.”

Speaking on the new guidance, Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said: 

“Bectu welcomes this new guidance from ACAS on menopause awareness day.

“Every woman experiencing this natural part of aging deserves the right to dignity in the workplace and the support to enable her to manage her symptoms.

“Our members work in a variety of  creative environments as employees, workers and freelancers many of which can be challenging when trying to deal with the many and varied symptoms of the menopause.

“This guidance is a great initiative to help break the taboos on the menopause which we hope will be implemented across the industry.”

Acas’ new guidance includes practical tips for employers, line managers and employees on how to create a supportive and productive culture around the menopause, as well as information on best practise and the law.

Notes

According to the latest statistics from the ONS, 4.4 million women aged 50-64 are in work. The CIPD estimate that the vast majority of these women will go through the menopause transition during their working lives and six in 10 menopausal women have said that it has had a negative impact on their work. You can access the full

Read the full CIPD Poll here.


Read more

Read the guidance and find a menopause training course near you

Bectu resources on the menopause here