Managing the Menopause in the Workplace

Employers have been slow to recognise that women of menopausal age may need special consideration and for too long it has simply been seen as a private matter. As a result, it is very rarely discussed and many managers will have no awareness of the issues involved. This means that many women feel they have to hide their symptoms and will be less likely to ask for the adjustments that may help them.

The majority of women will experience some or all of the symptoms of the menopause at some point in their lives and the NASUWT believes that, as teaching is a predominately female profession, addressing the menopause should be a high priority in all workplaces.

This training and information video can be used to start a conversation about the menopause. It provides tips and information for women concerned about raising the issue of the menopause with their managers.

The menopause affects every woman differently and so there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to it.

Some women experience few symptoms while others experience such severe symptoms that it impacts negatively on both their home and working lives. It should also be noted that some women experience sudden menopause after surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

The menopause is a natural part of ageing which usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 years of age. It occurs as a direct result of a woman’s oestrogen levels declining. In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach menopause is 51.

The menopause is a recognised occupational health issue and should therefore be addressed at school and college level. All workplaces should have an effective gender-sensitive policy that is consistent with statutory provisions.

More information and guidance for both members experiencing the menopause and activists are available to download on the right/below.

Women’s Health Concern is the patient arm of the British Menopause Society, who supported the NASUWT Menopause video. Their excellent quality guidance for women is available in the links on the right/below.