Life throws challenges at all of us. Going through the menopause might create challenges for colleagues’ wellbeing, routine, working and personal lives. We want to raise awareness of the menopause and ensure we support colleagues challenged by the menopause with understanding, support and appropriate communication.
What is the menopause?
All women will experience the menopause at some point during their life but it can also impact trans and non-binary people who may not identify as female. There’s no set age when the menopause transition begins. For most of those who experience the menopause, they’ll do so between the ages of 45 and 55. However, some start experiencing symptoms much earlier.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
The menopause typically lasts between four and eight years. Every experience will be different but common symptoms include sleeplessness, hot flushes, memory loss or poor concentration, headaches, muscle and joint pains, depression and anxiety. If you’re experiencing these symptoms (or any others), please speak to your manager; we may be able to help.
You might also hear reference to the ‘perimenopause’, which is the time leading up to the menopause. This too can last several years and involve similar symptoms to the menopause itself. For the purposes of this policy, any reference to the menopause includes the perimenopause.
Time to talk
We want to encourage open conversations so that if you are affected by the menopause you feel confident to talk to your manager about your symptoms and the support you may need at work. We’ll treat any conversations sensitively and confidentially.
If you can’t work because of a symptom connected with the menopause, you need to let us know. We know it may be difficult but please let your manager know that your absence is due to the menopause symptoms you are experiencing so that we can support you and record your absence in the right way. You should book time off in Bob so that we are aware of any absences.
If you feel that you would benefit from adjustments or other support, please speak to your manager in the first instance. If you feel unable to do so, please contact a member of the People Ops Team.
We may ask you to agree to consent to a medical examination by a doctor, consultant or occupational health consultant nominated by us (at our expense) so that we can better understand your health condition, any symptoms you’re experiencing and how we can best support you. You agree that any report produced in connection with any such examination may be disclosed to us and that we may discuss the contents of the report with our advisers and the relevant doctor, consultant or occupational health consultant.
As you go through the menopause transition and/ or experience symptoms relating to menopause, you may want to make temporary or permanent changes to the way you work. These may include changes to your working times, reduction of hours, or change of responsibilities. Please discuss your proposed changes with your manager in the first instance. We will work together to try to accommodate your needs.
We know that telling someone that you’re experiencing menopause symptoms can be a difficult step to take. We want to reassure you that when you’re ready to talk, we’ll be here to listen. Please see our mental health and wellness policy for ways that we can support. Our EAP is available and if you would like additional counselling support so that you can manage your symptoms in the context of your work, Human Made can support with short term therapy.