HR policies

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How to write a menopause policy (with free template)

How to write a menopause policy (with free template)

When it comes to writing a menopause policy, you’re not alone if you’re feeling a little out of your depth. Without the expertise or experience, many small business owners worry about doing the wrong thing in regard to menopause. 

But if you want to create a great place to work and demonstrate that you care about the wellbeing of all your employees, then it needs to be reflected in your HR policies. A menopause policy at work will help to establish your reputation as a progressive employer.

So, a menopause policy is important for building a positive workplace culture and attracting diverse talent, but do you know where to start?

As one of Charlie’s CIPD-qualified HR advisors, I help small businesses draft policies that reflect their company culture and the unique needs of their teams. In this blog, I’ll explain how to create a menopause policy that will work for your business – I'll also share a menopause policy template to help.

Remember: a menopause at work policy isn’t just for those who might experience menopause — it benefits everyone. This is because it:

  • Explains what menopause is and how it affects individuals differently (many people are still unaware of the symptoms, or how severe they can be)
  • Clarifies what support is available and how to go about obtaining it (which is useful for managers as well as their line reports).

Some people suffer menopausal symptoms that make life very difficult, and they can struggle at work as a result. In fact, a Channel 4 survey in 2022 found that one in ten women who worked during their menopause quit their jobs because of their symptoms. 

Your menopause at work policy should therefore state that the support you offer will be based on individual experience.

Below we’ll define what a menopause policy is, and look at the reasons for drafting one up in a bit more depth. If you don't have time to read any of this, you can also download our free menopause policy template.

What is a menopause policy?

A menopause policy sets out a company’s approach to supporting employees through menopause

Your menopause at work policy should provide clarity around menopause (what it is, the possible symptoms, how everyone is different etc.), as well as assurance that support is available and how to request it (pastoral through their line manager and the HR team, and practical through adjustments to ways of working).

Why have a menopause policy?

Despite it being natural, normal, and something that will affect half the population, in many ways, menopause is still a taboo subject — especially in the workplace.

Having a menopause at work policy is a step towards breaking that stigma and encouraging understanding and conversation. 

A menopause policy template communicates your commitment as an employer to supporting your employees so that they can keep working through menopause and beyond. Writing one for your business will:

  • Show that you’re committed to supporting all employees who experience menopause (have a look at how a sickness and absence policy can help)
  • Increase awareness around menopause and the different menopausal symptoms 
  • Help to break the stigma around menopause, and create an open workplace culture where people are encouraged and empowered to talk about it and ask for support
  • Communicate the support you’ll provide (it might be that you have a hybrid working policy in place), and explain how this will vary from person to person

Once you have a menopause at work policy template drafted and your policy in place, you also need to ensure you talk about it. Progressive businesses regularly talk about menopause at work and online. 

As the employer, you need to open up easy avenues for conversation around menopause and encourage your employees to talk about it whenever they need.

Taking part in World Menopause Awareness Day (18th October every year) is another way to raise awareness and publicly acknowledge and support your employees. It also allows you to mention your menopause policy to people outside of the business and catch the attention of future candidates. 

Talking about menopause helps to normalise it, and that conversation starts with your menopause policy

What should go in a menopause policy?

Your menopause policy should be informative, clear and useful. It should:

  1. Explain what menopause is
  2. Outline your commitment to supporting your employees
  3. Educate managers and your wider staff team about symptoms and support
  4. Tell your employees how to ask for support
How to write a menopause policy

Your menopause policy could also:

  • Outline any training available for managers
  • Link to related policies, like diversity and inclusion, and flexible working 

Pro-tip: It's a good idea to review all of your company policies to ensure they mention and link to your menopause policy wherever applicable. 

How to write a menopause policy – free template

If you’ve never written a menopause policy before, it’s difficult to know where to start. 

To make things easier for you, our HR Advisors at Charlie have created a menopause policy template for you to adapt for your small business.

Our menopause policy template is free and open to all, so click here below to have a look.

Menopause policy template

[INSERT COMPANY NAME] recognises that women experiencing the menopause, whether before, during or after this time of hormonal change and associated symptoms, may need additional consideration, support and adjustments.

  • We recognise that the menopausal symptoms can also affect transgender people including non-binary people.
  • We are committed to developing a workplace culture that supports workers experiencing the menopause in order for them to feel confident to raise issues about their symptoms and ask for reasonable adjustments at work.
  • We recognise that some employees experiencing the menopause may find that related symptoms may impact on their health and wellbeing, and we aim to provide as much support as is reasonably practicable for individuals.
  • We recognise that the menopause is a very personal experience and therefore different levels, and types of support and adjustments may be needed.

Employees experiencing the menopause are encouraged to let their Line Manager know if they are struggling with symptoms that may impact on their work, so that appropriate support is provided. Such information will be treated confidentially and in accordance with our data protection policy. An alternative contact is available to employees experiencing the menopause should they not feel comfortable discussing their problems with their line manager, (particularly if they are male). This is [INSERT NAME].

Employees who are experiencing the menopause can apply for reasonable adjustments to support them at work, including but not limited to flexible working arrangements, a change in duties, and professional support. We will aim to provide temporary staff cover or redistribute work wherever possible, where there is a lengthy absence related to menopausal symptoms.

Managers will consider all requests for support and adjustments sympathetically and will not discriminate against those employees who are experiencing the menopause and put in place the required support or adjustments in a timely manner. All requests for support or adjustments must be dealt with confidentially and in accordance with the data protection policy.

Employees experiencing the menopause are encouraged to seek support through their GP and other external organisations.

How can a menopause policy be part of your DE&I strategy?

As part of your DE&I strategy, a menopause policy will fit snuggly in there – its aim is to make sure you don't have people in your workforce who end up leaving because their individual needs and circumstances are not taken into account.

In this sense, here are the people and elements you should also consider for your menopause policy:

  • Trans people and non-binary people should also be part of your policy as you wouldn't want to leave them out, as they also might experience symptoms of menopause. The language you use in the policy should also reflect this.
  • Menopause is not just related to a certain demographic and affects women of different ages – this can sometimes be due to early onset menopause or even medical treatments that have an impact on hormonal health.
  • People should have access to the comfort they need at the office if you would like your employees to come, so these are also details your policy should enclose.
  • Offering mental health support, due to the nature of menopause, could also be an item you think about including in your policy so your team has all the help they need during this challenging time.

Again, remember that your policy should be precise, but also allow for some room as people's symptoms can be quite different depending on the person.

How Charlie can help with your menopause policy

As you now probably realise, writing a menopause policy is just the first step in supporting your employees through menopause. Even with our free menopause policy template, you may still feel daunted. 

At Charlie, we’re experts at taking that fear away. We’re a small business just like you, so we understand and know what you need.

We provide solutions that take away the worry and faff, and support small businesses through expert HR advice and all-in-one HR software. 

And we can help with your menopause policy. 

Charlie’s HR Advice exists solely to help small companies and startups. Through it, you get anytime access to a dedicated HR advisor who will help you write all of your policies including menopause. 

Charlie advisors like me are here whenever you need, and you can talk to us via chat, email or phone. 

Plus, we can create a personalised company handbook that contains all of your policies and links them up.

Click here to book a call about our HR Advice service

Once you have a menopause policy in place, you can securely store it with your other policies in our HR software. 

With CharlieHR, you can review and update your menopause policy quickly and easily, and your team always knows where to find it.

And we’ll give you free access to Charlie so that you can see what it’s like before you commit. Just another way we take some of that fear and worry away. 

Get started with your menopause policy today: try Charlie for free.

Click here to start a free trial of CharlieHR

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