The menopause is part of the natural ageing process for people with ovaries. Sometimes referred to as ‘the change’, it is the point in time when periods stop, marking the end of reproductive life. The term “menopause” is used when menstruation has ceased for 12 consecutive months.
Unfortunately, for many years the menopause has been a topic that has been surrounded in societal stigma, preventing people from talking and hearing about a natural stage of life. This has resulted in misinformation and a lack of awareness and support for people experiencing symptoms of the menopause at work.
At Essex, we are committed to creating inclusive and supportive environments for all members of our community and our menopause guidance (.pdf) aims to strengthen our commitment to providing a healthy and safe working environment for all. Our guidance is designed to:
- Create awareness of the menopause and the symptoms that can be experienced.
- Help identify various workplace factors that may negatively impact on staff experiencing the menopause.
- Consider practices and environments within our University that may require adjustments to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of staff.
- Consider best practice for our University to support staff going through the menopause.
What managers need to do
Make sure you are aware of both the Menopause Guidance (.pdf) and the Holding Supportive Conversations About the Menopause Guidance (.pdf). Taking time to understand how a member of your team may be affected by the menopause at work is very important. Providing personalised support and exploring together ways of alleviating any stress at work are effective ways of providing support. Having regular conversations with your team gives individuals the opportunity to raise any issues and for you to help to identify any work-related problems at an early stage. It is vital that we create an environment where people feel supported.
As well as support from your GP, the Workplace Health Safety and Wellbeing team also offer the following menopause support:
- A single appointment with our Menopause Supporter who can offer advice. This can be requested by emailing email@example.com but additional sessions would need to be requested via line manager referral to our service
- Joining our Menopause café where staff can meet up for a coffee with others going through the menopause to discuss any aspect of the menopause that they like and share their experiences. To register an interest in joining the group please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Manager Awareness Sessions delivered for staff and managers to learn more about it so they can better support colleagues and available to book here
- Resources, including webinars listed on our Wellbeing Directory