For a significant number of women, the menopause can be one of the most challenging times in their life as an employee.

Key facts:
– There are 3.5 million female workers aged over 50 in the UK
– The average of the menopause is 51 years, although hormonal changes can start earlier or later.
– Around a quarter of women describe their menopausal symptoms as moderate to severe
– Surveys show that women are often reluctant to confide in managers, absence rates increase and some seriously consider giving up work because of severe symptoms like hot flushes, tiredness, poor concentration and ‘brain fog’.

A recent UK government report found the following:
– Physical and psychological symptoms of the menopause transition can affect a woman’s performance at work, her quality of working life and her levels of absence.
– The evidence offers estimates of the number of women who are negatively affected by transition symptoms at work which vary from 10% to 53%.
– Significant numbers of women find individual symptoms associated with the menopause transition problematic at work. For example, studies indicate that transition-related insomnia and fatigue, as well as cognitive problems around focus and mental processing, have a negative effect on self-reported workplace performance.
– Women report that they want more support at work. Women reported that they wanted supported policies and access to information and support through the workplace
– Women are reluctant to talk about it with their colleagues or managers. The National Union of Teachers (NUT 2014a, 2014b) surveyed female members aged between 45 and 60. Over three-quarters (78%) of respondents had not disclosed transition symptoms to their line managers for a variety of reasons. These included concerns about managers linking their situation to performance at work (67% of those who had not disclosed) and embarrassment (35%).
– Specialist menopause healthcare provision is a key part of the solution. Employers can better support women workers experiencing transition by developing more supportive organisational cultures, introducing mandatory equality and diversity training around age and gender, ensuring specialist provision is available, implementing policies around transition-related absence and encouraging informal women’s support networks.

And the impact on the workplace is staggering, as mid-life women are the fastest growing segment in the workforce. Between 1985 and 2015, employment rates for women aged 55-59 grew from 48% to 70% (Dept of work and Pensions). The statistics also mask the physical, mental and emotional difficulties face by menopausal women, their families and their colleagues, even those that appear to be successful.

You, as an employer, have the opportunity to provide hands-on yet confidential, support at a time when your employees need it most. You can help to make it easier for them to find trusted practitioners for personalised menopause advice who can help to put them on the right track.

Your support could:
– Position your company as family-friendly to attract better employees, particularly experienced women
– Improve engagement and loyalty with your existing teams, both men and women
– Improve retention
– Improve the work performance of the woman experiencing menopause, or their partner, who may be suffering from sleep deprivation or highly stressed if their partner is struggling

How it works
You’ll agree a ‘menopause support allowance’ that you’ll make available to all employees (a male employee can use Peppy services for his partner, for example). We recommend that the menopause support allowance be set at £200 for each employee.

When an employee registers on the Peppy platform for the first time they will be able to access their allowance immediately and confidentially. They will draw down the allowance when they purchase a practitioner appointment or product listed on the platform. Once the allowance has been used fully they will have the option to purchase further appointments or products using their own funds.

As an employer who values the health and safety of your employees, you’ll know that every practitioner listed on the Peppy platform is fully qualified, fully insured and meets the strict vetting criteria that we’ve agreed with leading menopause professionals and industry experts.

We often hear that support at this time can be transformational to someone’s health, confidence, ability to work and their relationships. Peppy employers become associated with that feeling.

Flexible terms
– No minimum volumes
– Cancel at any time
– We rebate any unused allowances in full (we only charge for services that your employees use)

Find out more
Contact us on menopause@peppy.health to find out more.