According to new research, 26% of employers believe their organisation is either not affected by any employee having menopause-related health conditions or does not have any staff of menopausal age.
The findings, undertaken by Opinium on behalf of digital health and wellness platform Peppy, also highlighted that 32% of companies think absence and sickness is the workplace menopause issue that has affected their business the most.
One-quarter (25%) of the 504 HR decision makers surveyed have received increased requests for flexible working, 23% and 19% have seen an impact on productivity and engagement respectively, and 18% have had more requests about the working environment and work attire as well as seeing resignation or poor retention of people with menopause-related health issues.
According to more than one-fifth (22%), senior management team are involved in their organisation’s response to workplace menopause issues, while 19% answered that the board are involved and the issue currently sits in the HR department. Meanwhile, just 7% are aware that there are certain employees that champion the cause.
Additionally, 63% agreed that if their organisation wants more women to reach senior or C-suite positions, they need to provide better menopause support in the workplace.
Mridula Pore, CEO at Peppy, commented that early interventions and ongoing support will mean that staff will feel more in control and more supported by their employer, who will in turn feel less of the impact in terms of absence, sickness and other issues such as reduced productivity.
She explained that having support in place and communicating its availability is not just of relevance to current staff but also sends a message to future employees and the wider business community that diversity, equity and inclusion is being actively championed.
“In addition, while the average age for menopause is 51, symptoms can start many years before and other factors, such as illness or surgery, can also be a catalyst. Employers should not make assumptions about which staff need menopause support based on age alone, nor should they underestimate the impact that menopause can have on intimate partners or families of those who are affected,” Pore said.