A new survey from workplace experts at Acas has found that more than 8 out of 10 employers (81%) believe it is important for businesses to support staff experiencing menopause in the workplace.
Most women go through the menopause between the ages of 45 and 55 but it can also happen earlier or later in life. Symptoms can last four years or longer and can include hot flushes, anxiety, memory and concentration problems.
Ahead of World Menopause Day on 18 October, Acas commissioned YouGov to ask British businesses if it is important for them to support women experiencing menopause at work.
The results found that:
- 81% believed it is important
- 13% believed it is not important
- 6% did not know
Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said:
"Acas has a range of advice for employers on how best to support women impacted by the menopause, to stay at work, keep within the law and avoid any potential conflicts before they arise.
"We are encouraging businesses to take advantage of Acas's expertise to develop a menopause policy, provide training and start conversations with staff to help normalise menopause and provide a safe space for staff at work and to help women to stay at work."
Menopause affects half of the population which includes women as well as others that have a menstrual cycle such as some trans men and people who identify as non-binary. It can also impact relatives, partners or people that are supporting someone going through the menopause.
Acas advice is that menopause is a health and wellbeing concern for staff and needs to be handled with sensitivity. Employers that create and support an open environment around the menopause can help affected staff to continue to do their job confidently and effectively.
Acas's advice for employers includes:
- develop a menopause policy that explains how the menopause can affect people differently and what support is available
- provide awareness training for managers on the menopause and how to deal with it sensitively and fairly
- consider making practical changes at work to help staff manage their symptoms such as the availability of cold drinking water and temperature control
1. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1058 decision makers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21 to 27 August 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of British business size and region.
2. Participants were asked: "How important, if at all, do you think it is for your business to support staff experiencing menopause in the workplace?"
The results were:
- Very important: 39%
- Fairly important: 42%
- Not very important: 10%
- Not at all important: 4%
- Don’t know or not sure: 6%
Acas is the leading authority on workplace relations and dispute resolution in Great Britain. We provide free, impartial advice to employers and employees on workplace rights, rules and best practice. We also provide training and tailored support for businesses that can help them succeed. Acas is a non-departmental public body that is governed by an independent Council made up of employers, employee representatives and independent members.
Acas's conference: 'Living and working with the menopause' will share practical ways of engaging with staff living and working with the menopause and developing and implementing a workplace policy.
Speakers will discuss symptoms and misconceptions and share live stores, as well as employer responsibilities and support mechanisms available to employees.