Menopause in the workplace tribunal cases rising
Quoted in the national press, support organisation Menopause Experts pointed out that menopause in the workplace cases are on the increase, and although not binding on other tribunals, a Birmingham tribunal regarded one woman’s symptoms as a ‘disability’ as defined under the Equality Act. The lady in question suffered 8 hot flushes a night (and these are horrible things, for an honest depiction see our LinkedIn article where our own Catherine Larke describes what a flush feels like: https://bit.ly/3g86SJF) and up to 12 while she was awake. It’s no wonder the tribunal felt she was less able to undertake normal day to day duties, I think most of us would find it difficult to function normally under those circumstances.
70% of working women will undergo menopause, and 1 in 4 who do are considering leaving their employer
Tribunal cases are great at pulling in the headlines, but considering 70% of working women will undergo menopause its something of a mystery why we’ve not been talking about it more widely. If the reports that 1 in 4 women experiencing symptoms are considering a change in employment, shouldn’t we be more engaged with the topic, and shouldn’t we be looking at ways to support women undergoing menopause to make sure they don’t leave?
At myHRdept we employ 12 women, and if we were to lose a quarter of them because of menopause, it would be a disaster – good HR advisors are hard to find and to have a quarter of our workforce exiting the business for reasons we could have prevented would be simply inexcusable. As I’m writing this article (and others published on LinkedIn) I find it more and more surprising that in the 18 years I’ve been writing articles for myHRdept, I’ve never before written about the menopause and its impact on the workplace.
myHRdept tips for supporting menopausal employees
But what to do? Larger employers might consider setting up a support group, but all employers would benefit from having and distributing a menopause policy, both to raise awareness and to detail practical adjustments. As the only male in myHRdept I can’t imagine many (or any) of our staff wanting to discuss menopausal matters with me, but other solutions are available, and its important that we openly recognise the condition and the challenges it presents. It’s equally important that we provide support when it’s needed, practical and otherwise, and are empathetic to the needs of employees who, through no fault of their own, may be attending work having had a dreadful night’s sleep.
I’m ashamed to say I’ve never written, or seen a menopause policy, but we’re in the process of developing one now, and it will be available to our clients (as ever tailored to their particular circumstances) in coming weeks.
To read more on this topic on our article on LinkedIn, please click on this link: https://bit.ly/3z4q5U8.
myHRdept HR support services for employers
If you’re thinking of implementing a menopause policy, or need to make an occupational health referral, please contact myHRdept. Our HR support services are designed for employers who want a more personal relationship with their HR partner– we provide HR support on a retained or one-off basis for clients across sectors, and our team of HR, recruitment, occupational health and employment law advisors support more than 100 retained clients across the country and across sectors.
If you’re thinking of outsourcing your HR or employment law needs, why not contact myHRdept? Call us on 01628 820515, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements or contact us via our website and we’ll call you back.