As Menopause Awareness Month draws to a close, its an important time to highlight that the latest data released by Acas tell us that 33% of employers do not feel well equipped to support an employee going through the menopause and those that do, only 46% feel confident in doing so.
A company’s health and safety policy and related documents and processes (such as the risk assessment) should be used for managing the risks associated with the health of menopausal employees.
The risk assessment is key as it allows an employer to identify and evaluate how risks may come about, current control measures and other measure that could reduce or eliminate the risks.
When considering the menopause, a risk assessment should consider items such as:
- The temperature and ventilation of the workplace.
- The material and the fit of the organisation’s uniform, if there is one, and whether it might make staff going through the menopause feel too hot or worsen skin irritation.
- Whether there’s somewhere suitable for staff to rest if needed, for example a quiet room.
- Whether toilet facilities are easily accessible (this may also include checking appropriate sanitary disposal and access to hygiene products).
- Whether cold drinking water is available.
What can employers do?
Of course, the steps each business takes will be dependant upon the working environment they operate. To help equip line managers which would then help to build confidence, employers can:
- Introduce a Menopause at Work policy.
- Provide training/education on the menopause (which can be incorporated into existing training or as standalone).
- Ensure the risk assessment considers the menopause and keep under continued review, making changes where necessary.
- Where menopause symptoms lead to sickness absence, don’t be afraid to explore as part of the return-to-work process, or sickness absence meetings, how the business can support and address to prevent future absences.
- If you offer an Employee Assistance Programme, remind your employees how support can be given through this service.
Managing the menopause in the workplace
To help bring more awareness to this important topic, we held a webinar which looked at how employers can manage the menopause within the workplace.
This subject can be seen as a taboo, but it should not be. It is not a one-off event taking place over a short period, but a stage of a person’s life that can occur over many years.
The aim of this webinar was to continue the conversation around menopause, talk about how it can impact work and offer tips and guidance on what you can do to support your employees.
If you would like to watch this webinar on demand, you can do so here.
Helpful HR policies
Our HR Document Shop is full of helpful templates and policies to guide and assist you through a wide range of topics which can be difficult to manage alone. Our HR Document Shop is a powerful resource for your business to utilize.
Amongst all of our helpful policies, we recently created the Menopause Policy. This helpful policy can be used to assist anybody that is going through the menopause and offers guidance on how you can best handle the situation.
Download your Menopause Policy here.
We are here to help
If you require any further support with your business including your HR, Payroll or Health and Safety, please contact us and speak to a member of the team.