She told HR magazine: “If employers do a deep dive into their existing employee benefits, they may well find that they can create a suite of support for their employees affected by menopause within the benefits they already offer.
“Not only does this mean they won’t incur any additional costs, but by promoting the support they already have in place they are likely to see engagement and utilisation improve too.”
We gathered some examples of benefits employers may already have which could support employees going through the menopause.
Employee assistance programme (EAP) counselling
Lou Campbell, programme director at Wellbeing Partners, said counselling can often be hugely helpful.
Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “As some of the feelings that are common among menopausal women include grief, loss, shame, fear and resentment, accessing counselling can help women to process these powerful feelings that can contribute to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, difficulty coping with the endings and change.”
Private medical insurance (PMI)
Emily Bridgewater, senior health and wellbeing consultant at Mercer, told HR magazine: “Private medical insurance includes many useful provisions like menopause trained virtual GPs, mental health support if EAP counselling is not appropriate, awareness programmes or webinars and wellness apps to support nutrition and exercise.”
Private GPs can enable women to get hormone replacement therapy (HRT) quicker, Campbell said: “The UK’s gold standard therapeutic treatment for symptoms of peri- and menopause is hormone replacement therapy.
"Offering fast access to a GP service can help women speak to a medical professional more quickly, and get the information they need to make a decision on whether HRT is right for them.”
Bridgewater added: “This is not an employee benefit, but it is free! Employers can create internal communities or ‘menopause cafes’ for colleagues to share their experiences and get peer support.”
Campbell said employers should allow women going through the menopause to sit in a cool, light spot in the office.
She said: “Allow women to sit near the window. Increasing the amount of daylight we are exposed to can help to boost serotonin levels, reducing feelings of irritability, brain fog, exhaustion and sleep issues.
“Menopausal women also often experience internal thermostat issues and we tend to run on a high temperature most of the time! Allowing women to sit near air conditioning units, or providing desk fans, can be a great help to reduce hot flushes and general high body heat.”