A new initiative from the Scottish National Parliament (SNP), could soon see employees being provided with menopause training. Plans to introduce the initiative come after a recent survey from the SNP discovered almost a third of respondents felt the menopause was treated negatively, or as a joke within the workplace.
While some women don’t experience any real negative effects of the menopause, for others it can be debilitating. The initiative hopes to raise awareness of the condition and how it can impact women in the workplace, along with educating employers about how they can help during this transitional phase.
Debate likely to prove promising for working women
The new initiative is currently only in the debate stage. So, there is a possibility it may not be implemented. However, initial interest and support for the topic do prove promising.
With statistics revealing that three out of four women going through the menopause experience symptoms, it shows just how prevalent the issue is. There are currently 3.5 million women aged 50 and over in the workplace due to our ageing population. Women have been calling for changes for years, so would certainly welcome the new initiative.
CIPD also offering free guide to menopause at work
It’s not just the SNP who are campaigning for more awareness of the menopause at work. The CIPD is now offering free guidance on how to manage the menopause in the workplace. They too carried out research into how the condition affects women at work. Around 59% of respondents claimed it had a negative impact on their work.
In its free guidance, the CIPD reveals how having the option to work flexible hours can help, along with fans to help ease hot flushes; a common symptom associated with the menopause.
How can the menopause impact women in the workplace?
Studies have revealed that the menopause largely causes three main issues for women going through the menopause at work.
An inability to concentrate is one of the leading symptoms, impacting performance. Over half of women also experience increased levels of stress, as well as being more impatient with both colleagues and clients.
Almost a third of the women who responded in the CIPD research, claimed they have had to take sick days due to menopausal symptoms. However, only a quarter of them felt able to disclose the real reason behind their absence to their employer. Most simply don’t feel comfortable talking about the menopause at work, either due to embarrassment or because of how the condition is widely viewed.
This is where the new SNP initiative could prove useful for Scottish employees. Spreading awareness of the impact the menopause can have on women at work is crucial to ensuring employees get the support they need. The more support they are given by their employers, the less of an impact it’s going to have on their work.
Although it will only benefit those in Scotland initially, the initiative would likely be adopted by other parts of the UK is it proved to be a success. The menopause may be a natural condition, but it can have devastating consequences on a woman’s life.
If you’re experiencing menopausal symptoms, a consultation with our consultation gynaecologist can be invaluable. We provide a comprehensive medical examination and provide tests of hormone and nutrition levels as well as any necessary scans and also can give you advice on lifestyle changes and HRT. Call 0121 308 7774 to book a Menopause Health Check today.