How to create an effective menopause policy at work

July 2023

Menopause is a natural phase of life that can have a significant impact on women's physical and emotional wellbeing. Companies around the world are increasingly adopting menopause work policies to show their support for employees during this transition.  


However, the change in attitude towards menopause is not happening quickly enough. According to research by Debenhams Ottaway and CIPD, only 25% of businesses have a menopause policy in place, despite 43% reporting that female employees have faced difficulties at work because of menopause.


In this blog post, we'll discuss why your company should have a menopause policy in the first place, how to create one, and the essential components your policy should include. 

All employees should feel recognised and respected when they come to work, and that starts with their company’s policies and handbook. Including a menopause policy at work can help employees feel supported and heard when dealing with its challenges. The benefits of this include: 
Symptoms of menopause can vary from person to person but often include hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, and inability to concentrate. Having a menopause policy in place can provide advise on how best to manage these symptoms, whether you’re a woman going through menopause yourself or a colleague who just wants to help and support others. 
A menopause workplace policy shows that you value your employees' contributions and understand the challenges they may face during a difficult time. This contributes to a supportive work environment where employees feel comfortable, supported, and are more likely to stay for a long time. 
Many countries have legislation in place that requires employers to accommodate menopausal employees. Having a menopause policy that complies with the law is not only required but is also the right thing for a company to do, demonstrating your commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equality. 

Creating a menopause policy starts with research and involving key stakeholders in your conversations around the menopause transition. Once you’ve established what you want your menopause policy to look like, it should include the following factors:

  1. Training resources
  2. Information on flexible work arrangements
  3. Health and well-being supports
  4. A menopause leave policy
  5. Confidentiality and privacy provisions

Let’s go through the whole process in detail.

Begin your policy by speaking to those who are directly affected by menopause and understanding their unique needs and challenges. Where do they feel the company could improve? And what would they like to see in their menopause support resources? From there, consult with experts and healthcare professionals to advise on best practices and how a good menopause policy might be structured. 
There’s no point in introducing a new policy if an example isn’t being set from the top down. Engage your company’s HR team, managers and leadership and any relevant employee representatives to gain their perspectives and ensure buy-in across departments.
Once you have all of your information, you can begin to create a clear and comprehensive menopause policy that addresses the specific needs of your workforce. 
Offer education and training programs to raise awareness about menopause among both employees and managers. These programs can cover everything from how to deal with experiencing menopause symptoms to how to approach the issue in conversation in the workplace. This promotes a supportive and understanding work culture, reduces stigma, and encourages more open dialogue between employees. 
Consider including flexible working options and allowances in your policy, such as adjusted hours, remote work, temporary reduced hours, or equipment, such as temperature control devices or ergonomic office set-ups. 
External resources such counselling services or information on nutrition can all be beneficial to those dealing with menopause and are helpful to have on hand. 
Your company may be in the position to offer paid leave for those dealing with menopause symptoms, to allow them to take time off to rest and recuperate. Include information in a specialised section called a ‘menopause leave policy’ so employees can easily refer to it.
Above all, ensure that your employees’ privacy is respected when they come to seek any menopause-related resources or support. Open communication is always important, but for those who prefer to deal with health issues privately, it’s important to accommodate this. 
Implementing a menopause work policy is a progressive step towards creating an inclusive and supportive workplace environment. Remember that a menopause policy is an active document – it should be regularly reviewed and amended by human resources teams to reflect current best practices and cultural attitudes. Allianz Partners can help your business to look after its employees in times of turmoil. Take a look at our international group health insurance page for more information.