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Acas West Midlands launches new guidance on managing menopause at work

Workplace experts, Acas, has published new guidance to help employers and managers in the West Midlands area support staff who are affected by menopause symptoms at work.

Around 7 out of ten women (68.5%) in the West Midlands are in employment. Around two million women aged over 50 have difficulties at work due to their menopause symptoms and it is estimated that one in 20 women could go through an early menopause.

Menopause symptoms can include:

  • Feeling tired and lacking energy;
  • Hot flushes;
  • Feeling anxious and panic attacks;
  • Struggling to concentrate or focus; and
  • Headaches including migraines.

The effects of the menopause can lead to staff feeling ill, losing confidence to do their job or feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.

Acas West Midlands Area Director, Malcolm Boswell, said: “Thousands of working women in the West Midlands will be experiencing the effects of the menopause. But many people may feel too embarrassed to raise symptoms that are having a detrimental impact on their work.

“This can result in affected staff taking time off work unnecessarily when some simple measures could help them to continue to work comfortably.

“Our new advice can help businesses in the West Midlands make their workplaces inclusive and welcoming to all their staff with top tips around how to manage menopause effectively at work and keep within the law.”

The new Acas advice includes tips for workers on how to raise any concerns and good practice guidance for employers to help manage menopause at work. Top tips include:

  • Create and implement a menopause policy;
  • Provide awareness training for managers to deal with any concerns in a sensitive way;
  • Create an open and trusted culture within the team;
  • Make changes where possible such as altering working hours;
  • Implement low-cost environmental changes such as providing desk fans;
  • Awareness of employment laws that can relate to menopause issues at work such as the risks of sex, disability or age discrimination.

To see the full guidance, please see: www.acas.org.uk/menopause.