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Six things to consider when creating menopause guidance

Menopause is why some people leave the workforce. What can businesses do to retain and attract this important talent pool?

Businesses have made great strides in ensuring their employees’ health and wellbeing is better supported in the workplace. But until recently menopause was overlooked.

Supporting workers experiencing menopause:

Lack of menopause support at work pushing women to resign

How HR can prevent menopausal discrimination

Menopause – three actions HR can take today to support their workforce

According to research, menopause is why many feel forced to leave the workplace. In a survey of 2,000 women, aged 45-67 and experiencing menopause symptoms, 24% were unhappy in their jobs because of a lack of support, with 65% saying that their employer had not introduced any menopause guidance.

While we have seen more open conversations around menopause, progress in the workplace has been slower. Why? It may be because menopause has been considered a ‘female-only’ subject or an expected part of life with its potential effects overlooked. It can be challenging to speak about symptoms, like hot flushes and memory problems. All of which can affect work just as work can affect people’s symptoms.

At EY, we have always provided support for those experiencing menopause. We recently brought all our guidance together in one place. We have two menopause guides – the first, for managers to give them practical advice and the second for all people so they can understand the support available.

This World Menopause Day (18 October), here are six things to consider when crafting menopause guidance:


Manager support

Managers play an important role in ensuring people are supported through menopause. They can help implement adjustments, such as changing working times and often act as the first point of support.

At EY, we have provided our managers with practical guidance to help them have supportive conversations with people who may be experiencing menopausal symptoms. We don’t expect our managers to be menopause experts, but they need to know the facts, how to support those experiencing symptoms and how to respond to related issues appropriately.

Open culture

Openness is critical to discussing health challenges. Visibly demonstrate that menopause can be talked about openly. Some employees might not want to talk to their manager about menopause, no matter how supportive they are. Consider upskilling your HR team so they’re able to have confident conversations. Also, consider creating an employee network where people can talk openly and feel they belong.

Flexible working

Offering flexible working arrangements helps people navigate menopause-related health challenges and continue to do their roles confidently and effectively.

Work environment

Making changes to the work environment or providing suitable equipment can help alleviate some symptoms. Let people know how to request a workstation assessment to make their working environment more comfortable. And signpost any areas, like first aid rooms, which are private, quiet and dark for rest.

Time off

Menopause symptoms can cause people to feel unfit for work. Ensure your absence policy supports those who may need time off work due to illness and menopause-related symptoms.

Also, encourage people to record any absences as menopause-related which will help address stigma and enhance the organisation’s understanding of menopause’s effects.

Health and wellbeing programme

Have a health and wellbeing programme that includes menopause support. Our Health EY programme includes menopause support, such as access to resources to help people build confidence, awareness and self-care skills.

Being an inclusive employer means we take our people’s wellbeing seriously. We want to ensure that EY is a workplace where all people feel they belong and can bring their whole selves to work. This is why menopause matters to us.

Justine Campbell is managing partner for talent in the UK at EY