Going Through the Menopause at Work Research

Newly published research by the financial services sector finds experience while going through the menopause at work curtails employment and promotion seeking.

Following on from our last article on this blog, newly published research, by the Standard Chartered Bank and the Financial Services Skills Commission, has found that a quarter of people working in the financial services sector and going through the menopause are more likely to leave the workforce altogether before retirement because of their experience.

A link to the published research is here: https://av.sc.com/corp-en/content/docs/Menopause-in-the-Workplace-Impact-on-Women-in-Financial-Services.pdf

The research published on 21st October 2021 identified employees’ experiences during this time also caused reluctance to apply for promotion (47%), take on extra responsibilities (52%) or even caused some to reduce their seniority, in part due to the lack of support offered by their employers to manage symptoms. Twenty-two percent of people experiencing menopause and 25% of those who have already been through it, said it has made them more likely to retire.

The survey found that pervasive taboos, a “culture of silence” in the workplace and the physical symptoms of the menopause each play a part in the negative experience employees have while going through the menopause.

It was suggested that employers could provide information and advice about the menopause to their employees but that this would need to be more than an “empty document”. Two thirds of respondents did not know if their workplace had relevant guidance or a policy in place. The “culture of silence” leads many employees to deal with the symptoms of menopause, difficulty sleeping (69%), anxiety and worry (63%) and problems with recall (58%), alone.

As discussed in our previous article, employment law is catching up on this last taboo in the workplace and employers would be wise to adopt without delay a Menopause Policy that confirms:

  • the employer’s commitment to fostering an inclusive and supportive working environment for all of its staff;
  • recognise that many members of staff will experience the menopause and that for some the menopause will have an adverse impact on their working lives; and
  • confirm that the purpose of the policy is to raise awareness of the menopause and the impact of the menopause in the workplace, and to encourage open conversations between managers and staff.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues in this article or to receive advice and assistance to any employment law related issue please do not hesitate to contact Carmel Sunley of Sunley Workplace Solutions.