Over half (55%) of employers have seen demand for menopause support increase in the past two years, according to new research by Peppy. 

The same is true over a five-year period, with nearly two-thirds (63%) of employers seeing this increased appetite for employer-sponsored menopause support.

“Organisations are witnessing an increased demand for menopause support from their staff and we don’t see this trend slowing anytime soon,” says Director of Menopause Servives at Peppy, Kathy Anethethy. “We have conversations with employers who might not have considered budgeting for menopause support in the past, or thought their more general employee benefits provision was adequate; however, they now realise that they must prioritise this type of specialist support.” 

 

Employers expect to improve recruitment and retention by offering menopause support

Of those employers who do offer menopause support, nine out of ten (89%) expect the organisation to be more attractive to the staff of menopause age looking for jobs, and a similar amount (88%) expect to be better able to retain staff of menopausal age. 

Earlier in the year, the FTSE Women Leaders Review, which was spearheaded by Liz Truss, then Minister for Women and Equalities, now Prime Minister, made recommendations for new targets to help ensure women are fairly represented in corporate leadership and on boards. Peppy believes that organisations of all sizes will take this approach on board, and the recruitment and retention of senior women will be a laser focus for employers.  

  

Employers believe they are behind the curve on menopause support 

Despite the pressure from employees wanting menopause support, and employers’ understanding of the positive impact that this can have on recruitment and retention, the research shows that over a third (36%) of employers feel that they are behind the curve, or it is not even on their radar, when it comes to offering menopause support.

This breaks down as:

  • 17% of HR leaders thought that their organisation was a ‘little’ bit behind others in terms of the support they offer.
  • 6% believe that they are ‘way behind’ others
  • 13% said that menopause support was not on their radar or something they are particularly interested in offering at present

  

Businesses affected by sickness and absence from menopause-related issues 

The research highlights the fact that businesses themselves are directly affected when menopause is not supported.

 Worryingly, 38 percent of employers say that staff have left their organisation due to menopause symptoms.

In addition,  64 percent of HRs say that their organisation had experienced staff taking time off sick because of menopause-related symptoms. Of these, a third (32%) say they have experienced employees in their organisation taking sick leave because of menopause symptoms ‘quite a few times’ and half (50%) responded this had occurred a ‘couple of times’.

 

What does the future look like?

“There are clear benefits of providing menopause support for employers and their employees, as well as very real ramifications of not doing so,” Kathy commented. 

“Menopause support is not a trending employee benefit or a fad that will disappear next year. There are over 15m women in employment and nearly a third of those are over 50, so employers need to recognise their needs. Menopause needs to be treated in the same way as any other specialist support needed within the workplace – especially if employers are serious about recruiting, retaining and promoting this demographic.”

 

 

 

 

 

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.