Covid-19 (Coronavirus) has made it harder for many employers to know which of their staff require menopause support, research has revealed.
A survey of 504 HR decision makers by digital health platform Peppy found that 28% had struggled to identify those needing help during this stage of their life.
Meanwhile 21% said that with increased numbers of staff still working from home and flexible working arrangements in place, they have less ability to track when or why people are off work.
In addition, 20% feel they have less ability to promote the employee benefits that could help people deal with menopause symptoms.
Nearly a third (29%) of those surveyed believe that longer NHS waiting times have negatively affected efforts to manage menopause issues in the workplace, with 59% believing that the elongated waiting times due to Covid-19 have exacerbated the need for employers to provide support.
More than four in 10 (43%) agreed that the most important feature of employer-sponsored menopause support was confidentiality, while 31% said menopause support needed to be easy to use and 27% stated it should be easy to access.
One-quarter felt that a personalised or bespoke approach was an important feature, with the same proportion backing integration with NHS services so that employees can navigate between the support offered by their employer and their local health services.
Peppy chief executive Dr Mridula Pore said employers need to ensure they offer dedicated support from a menopause healthcare specialist if they truly want to help menopausal staff while the pandemic continues to be a feature of daily lives.
She explained that offering menopause support could now be crucial in helping employees make a positive return to the office, when the government advises workers to do so.
“Once this support is in place, employers are able to evidence their caring and supportive workplace culture, as it demonstrates that they are ahead of the curve, and value their employees at what can be an extremely difficult period as they balance their health issues and their career,” Pore said.