women's health at work

Health and wellbeing strategies for employers

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A diverse and inclusive workforce – this should be every employer’s aim.

But one conversation people tend to shy away from? Reproductive health problems. Considering 47% of the UK workforce is female*, women’s health problems such as period pains, contraception and bacterial vaginosis are still viewed as taboo subjects.

And then there’s menopause. Despite being a natural phase in every woman’s life, there’s far too much stigma surrounding it. This means women feel too embarrassed to talk about it, especially at work. Let’s change that.

Why do we need to know about the menopause? **

  • There are 3.5 million women over 50 in the workplace in the UK.
  • The average age for a person to go through menopause is 51.
  • Although around one in 100 people will experience the menopause before the age of 40.
  • There are three different stages to the menopause – perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause.
  • Symptoms can last up to 10 years.
  • Symptoms range from cognitive, physical and psychological symptoms (for example, hot flushes, muscular aches, poor concentration, anxiety and headaches).
  • Three out of four people experience symptoms, with one in four suffering severe symptoms, which can impact on their everyday lives.

Menopause in the workplace

Recognising and supporting an employee affected by the menopause can make all the difference. Not only does it help to normalise menopause, it can help them continue to thrive in the workplace even though menopause can cause women to:

  • Lose confidence in their skills and abilities
  • Take time of work and hide the reasons for their absence
  • Experience an increase in mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression
  • Struggle with concentration
  • Consider leaving their job.

However, menopause shouldn’t be associated with just a gender or age issue. You may have employees who are being affected by the menopause indirectly, such as spouses, significant others, close family members or even colleagues of individuals going through the menopause.

How you can support ALL your employees

Small changes can make a big difference. You can help create a positive and open environment by simply supporting: 

  • Flexible working, such as changing working patterns or working from home
  • Counselling through the workplace
  • The option to take more regular breaks
  • More time to prepare before meetings, appointments or engagements.

Doctor Care Anywhere is here to help

When one of your employees is suffering from a women’s health problem, they shouldn’t have to wait long to get the healthcare they need.

With QuickConsult your employees can simply select the health condition that’s most relevant to them, complete a short questionnaire, and hit submit. One of our medical professionals will then review their request and provide them with the right prescription or advice. Alternatively, our GPs are available 24/7. 

To find out even more ways we can help your employees contact us today.

* https://www.aon.com/unitedkingdom/employee-benefits/resources/articles/womens-health-how-employers-can-support.jsp 

** https://www.nhsemployers.org/articles/menopause-and-workplace 

Last reviewed September 2022.

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