18 October 2021

World Menopause Day 18 October

The impact of menopause at work can be wide ranging. Symptoms and their severity differ from one woman to the next. We have launched a short survey looking at your experiences.

Women make up 66% of PCS membership which means many of our members will experience symptoms of the menopause, typically between the ages of 44 to 55 years.  Some women experience these symptoms earlier, and the menopause can be triggered after surgical or medical intervention.  As the changes are hormonally based, non-binary, intersex or transgender people may also experience menopausal symptoms.

The theme of this year’s World Menopause Day is Bone Health.  The lower levels of oestrogen resulting from the menopause can leave some women with weak bones, leading to developing conditions such as osteoporosis. Other symptoms of the menopause aren’t always obviously connected, such as having bladder issues, developing migraines, and experiencing dry eyes.  The menopause can leave you feeling exhausted and stressed, which can impact your working life.

You have a right to approach your line manager to discuss how you are feeling and ask them to look at ways of supporting you at work.  While there are no specific laws on menopause, employers have a legal duty of care under health and safety laws for all employees. Your union rep can help with this and to discuss any reasonable adjustments that you need to help you cope with your symptoms at work.

Many women report being denied training or promotion opportunities because of their age and feel this is related to menopause. Indirect sex discrimination can happen when employers have policies or practices in place which disadvantage women who are suffering from menopausal symptoms. Speak to your union rep if you feel this applies to you.

We have launched a quick, five minute survey about members’ experiences of the menopause. Completing it will give us a wider view of the issues that members have which need to be looked at and addressed.

These are steps members can take to get support and raise awareness of the menopause in the workplace:

  • Talk to work colleagues about the menopause – you can share information and support each other
  • Check if your workplace has a menopause policy. If it doesn’t, contact your local PCS rep to take this forward with your employer
  • Find out if your workplace has any menopause networks/groups that you can join
  • Get involved in your regional women members’ network by emailing equality@pcs.org.uk
  • Enrol on a PCS Menopause in the Workplace course.