Let’s talk about the Menopause
We have been hearing more about menopause in the media so why do we need to start talking about this more? Let us look at the powerful reasons why.
Menopause like menstruation, sex and
mental health are still taboo subjects. Maybe because people are embarrassed. Maybe b
ecause they were shown during childhood that these subjects were kept a secret, something that was whispered about. Maybe because we do not know enough about the subject so have little or no understanding. The only way to change this is to start talking.
We are an ageing workforce so more woman going through this stage in life are at work and affected by the symptoms.
· 47% of the global work force are women
· 66% of women age between 50-64 are in the workplace
· Average age is to start perimenopause is 51 years in the UK
· It is usually between 45-55 years
· Can be any time up to mid-60s
· It can be earlier
· It can start due to a medical treatment such as chemotherapy
There are over thirty physical and psychological symptoms
· Unlikely to experience all these symptoms
· Some women may not notice any major changes at all (lucky ladies)
· 3 in 4 women experience symptoms
· 1 in 4 serious
· 1 in 4 women consider leaving their workplace due to the impact of their symptoms
· 1 in 10 women do leave the workplace due to the impact
· Symptoms usually last betw
een 4 - 8 years sometimes longer
· Symptoms can be managed
Five major symptoms that can be impacted by the workplace
· Hot flushes
· Focus and concentration
· Anxiety and worry
The menopause is not a specific protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 but if an employee or worker is put at a disadvantage and treated less favourably because of their menopause symptoms, this could be discrimination if related to a protected characteristic, for example:
· gender reassignment
The number of tribunal cases which c
ited Menopause increased by 44% in 2021 Menopause-related employment tribunal claims nearly doubled over the past year Analysis of court records by Menopause Experts Group found that of those 23 cases cited the menopause in 2021. Of the 23 cases, 16 included claims for disability discrimination, 14 included claims for unfair dismissal and 10 included claims for sex discrimination. In addition, mentions of the word “menopause” increased by a staggering 75% in tribunal documents.
Examples of cases
Disability Discrimination in Donnachie v Telent Technology Services Ltd ET/13000005/20 an employment tribunal considered whether an employee's menopause symptoms were substantial enough to amount to a disability.
Age discrimination in McCabe v Selazar
ET/2200501/2021, an employment tribunal held that Selazar Ltd had subjected Mrs McCabe to age discrimination when it dismissed her at age 55.
Sex Harassment in Best v Embark on Raw Ltd ET/3202006/2020, an employment tribunal held that an employer violated an employee's dignity and created a humiliating environment for her at work
Examples of reasonable adjustments
Hot Flushes: Considering temperature and lighting, to help women manage their body temperature. Make desk fans easily available. Consideration around uniforms or dress code. Difficulty
Sleeping/Tiredness/Fatigue: Review start, and
finish times could these be adjusted to take this into account. Informal arrangements or flexible working. Flexibility around the taking of breaks, or increased breaks during the working day.
Heavy Bleeding/Flooding: Changing/washing facilities for women to change clothes during the working day. Access to sanitary products.
Anxiety/Panic Attacks: Regular one-to-one discussions. Referral to Counselling Services
What do we need to do to become more menopause friendly?
1. Is it clear how your organisation supports menopause at work?
2. Creating a culture where menopause can be talked about openly
3. Providing the right training and support
4. Review existing support
5. Menopause friendly workwear
6. Menopause friendly workplace
Supporting menopause at work is the right thing to do, both for organisations and colleagues. It helps to retain talent within an organisation and create an inclusive, supportive work environment. Colleagues’ wellbeing is placed centre stage, showing that an organisation is a wonderful place to work, and in turn changing lives for the better today and for generations to come.
Menopause can affect people differently and for those who experience symptoms, it can be a huge relief to know their employer will support them. Although things are improving, stigma still exists around menopause. What employers can do is what you would expect of any employer who wants to attract and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce. This starts with creating the environment to talk about menopause openly and without embarrassment.
BMR Health Care offer a range of training courses , they are on a mission to make sure that every employee has access to health and wellbeing support so that businesses can run smoothly, efficiently, and in a much happier way.
Why are Nano promoting this ? There is a personal reason but also a professional one, in that we see the need to spread the word and make the workplace better for all.
For more information on menopause training visit :
As part of the support in this key area, Nano Electronic Services has arranged a 10% discount for anyone booking a course – use code NANO10 to receive this at time of booking.