A third of employers (33%) do not feel well-equipped to support women going through the menopause at work.
Forty-six per cent feel confident they can, while one in five (21%) say they don’t know how to support women with the menopause, according to a new survey by Acas.
Acas commissioned YouGov to ask British businesses how confident they were they could support women going through the menopause at work. Commenting on the findings, Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said: “There is still a stigma attached to the menopause, and our findings show that some employers do not feel well equipped to support women that are going through it.
“Our poll also reveals a lack of confidence around whether some managers have the skills to support staff experiencing menopause symptoms.
“Creating a safe place at work to talk about it can help. Acas has advice for employers on how best to support employees impacted by menopause and keep within the law.”
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, including hot flushes, anxiety, and memory and concentration problems.
The menopause affects half of the population, including women and others with a menstrual cycle, such as some trans men and people who identify as non-binary. It can also impact relatives, partners or people supporting someone going through the menopause.
The Acas poll also asked businesses how confident they feel that managers in their organisation have the necessary skills to support staff with menopause symptoms. The poll revealed that:
- Over a third of employers (37%) were not confident;
- Over two in five (46%) were confident; and
- 17% don’t know.
Acas advice is that menopause is a health and wellbeing concern for staff and needs to be handled sensitively. Employers that create and support an open environment around the menopause can help affected staff 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; and
- Consider making practical changes at work to help staff manage their symptoms, such as the availability of cold drinking water and temperature control.
You can find more information and Acas’s full advice on the menopause here.