83% of employees want a menstruation-friendly policy at work

menstruation-friendly policyMore than four-fifths (83%) of employees think their workplace should have a menstruation-friendly policy, according to research by Henpicked: Menstruation Friendly.

Its Breaking the cycle survey, which was carried out in partnership with FitrWoman and polled more than 750 employers and employees, also found that 54% of employers said that understanding its necessity is the biggest barrier to adopting a menstruation-friendly policy, while 33% said a lack of resources and expertise are preventing progress.

Just over two-fifths (44%) of employee respondents have never talked about menstruation with their line manager and only 17% feel very comfortable doing so. Conversely, 48% of employer respondents said they feel very comfortable talking to employees about menstrual health, while 68% have not had training to be confident having a conversation about menstrual health with employees.

The overwhelming majority of respondents, when asked what one change they would make, said they would prioritise training in the workplace. While 61% of employees would like menstrual health to be a recognised reason for absence, only 32% of employers say it currently is.

Three-quarters (76%) of employee respondents reported that menstrual health symptoms impact their work performance and 40% believe their monthly menstruation challenges are affecting their career progress.

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The most common problems faced in the workplace are period pain or pre-menstrual tension (77%), menstrual flooding or leaking (55%), and being caught out at work without period products (53%). More than one-third (34%) have been stuck in a meeting, or at a workstation, unable to explain or excuse themselves.

Deborah Garlick, founder of Henpicked: Menstruation Friendly, said: “As we have seen with menopause, it’s vital that employers engage in training and education across their organisations to break the taboo and normalise the conversation around menstrual health in the workplace. A growing number of employers are now working towards being menstruation friendly with small, reasonable adjustments already making a positive impact. We hope to see many more follow their example to help employees realise their potential.”