As a manager, there are a number of ways in which you can support any employees who are experiencing symptoms of the menopause. The most appropriate support will vary depending on the employee's symptoms as well as the nature of their role. Keep in mind that the severity of symptoms can, and usually will, differ over time.
The menopause may seem a difficult or overly personal topic to discuss with an employee - at the same time, remember that there are plenty of resources within the School that can support managers and staff. These resources include:
- The staff wellbeing webpages
- The School's Occupational Health service (please speak with your HR Partner if this is being considered)
- The Health and Safety team, who can support with undertaking workplace risk assessments
- The Estates Division, who can assist with physical changes to the work environment for the benefit of staff
- The School's Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), which provides 24/7 confidential support on a wide range of wellbeing matters
These are some of the resources that are available to help anyone who is balancing their work responsibilities with experiencing symptoms of the menopause. Just a few simple changes can make a big difference, such as:
- Providing a fan for the employee's work environment
- If possible, providing a private area where the employee can rest for a while to help manage their symptoms
- Moving the employee's desk closer to a window which opens
Also, a little flexibility with the employee's work pattern can go a long way to helping them manage their symptoms. This could include:
- Being flexible about when the employee starts and finishes work
- Agreeing to the employee working from home where practical
If the employee's symptoms continue to affect them at work, it's worth discussing other changes that could help. Your HR Partner will be able to advise on any changes, although you should make sure that the employee is aware if you are sharing any information that they wish to keep confidential.
More substantive changes that could be agreed include:
- Changing or adapting certain responsibilities in the employee's role
- The employee moving temporarily to a more suitable role
- The employee moving to part-time hours
- A colleague undertaking some of the employee's usual responsibilities, either on an ad-hoc basis or as a formal job share
Managers should contact their HR Partner if they have any queries about managing the menopause that are not covered in the pages of this toolkit.