World Menopause Day is held each year on 18 October to raise awareness, break the stigma and highlight the support available for improving health and wellbeing for those experiencing menopause.
Menopause is not just a gender or age issue, it is an organisational issue which can impact colleagues both directly or indirectly. Awareness around this topic is key to reducing the stigma attached to menopause and encouraging people to talk more openly about it.
The Long Term Workforce Plan has emphasised the importance of retaining our valued NHS workforce. Employers should be looking at their wellbeing offer and critically evaluating the experience of staff through all stages of their careers. The NHS People Promise explores the seven elements of creating a positive staff experience. A positive staff experience and a rounded support offer are vital to encouraging staff to remain in the workplace.
Did you know?
Research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) showed that:
- women aged 50 and over are the fastest growing group in the workforce; the average age for menopause transition is 51
- three out of five working women aged between 45 and 55 who are experiencing menopause symptoms say it has a negative impact on them at work
- more than half of this group said they experienced more stress
- nearly a third of women have taken sick leave due to their symptoms, but only a quarter told managers the real reason why.
World Menopause Day 2023
The theme for World Menopause Day 2023 is cardiovascular disease. The link between reproductive factors and cardiovascular disease is another important aspect of menopause that women need to be aware of.
Researchers have recently discovered that a woman's reproductive experiences (including menstruation, pregnancy, breast cancer treatments and menopause) can affect the chances of developing cardiovascular disease later in life. Awareness of this can help determine an individual's risk.
The International Menopause Society has a range of resources available to support this year’s theme, these resources are also available in different languages.
Resources to support you and your colleagues
NHS Employers continues to highlight the importance of this topic and support organisations so they can improve staff experience.
There is a wide range of resources available:
- Our menopause and the workplace page features information and practical guidance for NHS organisations on improving workplace environments, examples of good practice, case studies and more.
- NHS England's supporting our NHS people through menopause: guidance for line managers and colleagues.
- NHS England's retention hub hosts guidance on supporting people in early and late career.
- NHS England's Menopause and Occupational Health (OH) elearning session is for for OH staff in the NHS. It highlights the signs and symptoms of menopause and how people may be impacted in the workplace.
- The Health, Safety and Wellbeing Group’s (HSWG) menopause at work guidance was developed in partnership with trade unions and management side to help organisations and managers to support their workforce.
- Our health and wellbeing conversations guidance is aimed at line managers to help them hold confident, skilled and sensitive conversations with colleagues, particularly useful when discussing the menopause with those affected.
- This recent podcast from Acas, inclusive workplaces: supporting women through menopause, features Helen Tomlinson, government menopause champion and Kate Nowicki, Acas director of dispute resolution, who discuss practical ways to make your workplace more supportive for women going through menopause.
- Acas also offers advice and support in its managing the menopause guidance.
- Watch the CIPD's let's talk menopause webinar to see how you can best support colleagues managing menopausal symptoms.
- Pausitivity's support pack contains conversation at work guidance, symptom sorted and further signposting.
- The Society of Occupational Medicine guidance on menopause and the workplace tackles the occupational aspects of menopausal symptoms.
- This useful blog exploring what is the non-binary experience of menopause comes from the queer / LGBTQIA+ menopause project.
Get in touch
If your NHS organisation has examples of good practice in supporting colleagues impacted by menopause we'd really like to hear about it, please email us and let us know.