A YouGov survey of 1,025 HR decision makers working across UK businesses has found that almost three quarters (72%) of businesses do not have a menopause policy.
This is despite it being widely accepted that the effects of the menopause can be debilitating for a woman’s physical and psychological wellbeing.
Symptoms such as joint pain, hot flushes, memory loss, fatigue, and anxiety can have a huge impact on a women’s confidence and workplace performance.
Indeed, a recent survey published by renowned GP and menopause specialist Dr Louise Newson found that 99% of respondents said their perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms had led to a negative impact on their careers, with more than a third calling the impact ‘significant’.
Almost 20% were off more than eight weeks and half of this group resigned or took early retirement.
Key findings from the YouGov survey include:
- Almost three quarters (72%) of businesses do not have a menopause policy.
- Over a quarter (27%) of large businesses (250 employees or more) say they have a menopause policy but only 10% of small firms (0-50 employees) do.
- Even within organisations where the workforce is more than 50% women, the same low level of organisations (13%) have no menopause policy.
- Only 16% of businesses train their line managers about the menopause. 94% of organisations in hospitality & leisure surveyed say they provide no training in this area.
- Almost half (44%) of all the businesses that say they do not train their staff about the menopause admit to not having thought about it. 15% don’t consider it a priority whilst 7% claim that sensitivities and embarrassment about the issue hold them back.
- Only half of organisations questioned (50%) say they are confident that women in their organisation are feel able to talk about the menopause. Almost 1/3 (31%) say they are not confident and 1 in 5 say they’re don’t know.
- Within organisations where the proportion of women was the highest, the confidence levels amongst HR teams that employees are able to talk to their employer was the lowest (57%).
- Only 18% of organisations say they provide information about the menopause to their employees with 13% offering internal support groups.
- Almost 2/3 (64%) of businesses say they do not consider menopause during performance reviews for female staff. This is even higher in some sectors including manufacturing (76%), hospitality & leisure (75%), media, marketing & advertising (67%).
The YouGov survey was commissioned by employment law specialists at Irwin Mitchell. The total sample size was 1,025 HR decision makers and fieldwork was undertaken between 10th - 28th February 2022. The survey was carried out online.