World Menopause Day: Bellrock launches inclusive workplace Menopause Policy. 

There has been a noticeable rise in awareness of menopause in recent years, yet within the workplace, the topic can often feel misunderstood or taboo. The discomfort surrounding conversations about menopause illustrates just how much work there still is to do when it comes to understanding a condition that affects approximately half the population.

October 18th marks World Menopause Day, a day that is held annually to raise awareness of menopause and the support options available for improving health and wellbeing.

This World Menopause Day we’re proud to be able to launch Bellrock’s first Menopause Policy in a bid to improve the experiences of those affected by the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause in our workplace.

At Bellrock we are committed to creating an open and supportive culture and want to ensure everyone feels comfortable and safe speaking about how menopause-related symptoms may be affecting them at work, and crucially that they feel able to ask for the support that they need.

A major life event

Menopause is a major life event during which a person stops having periods and experiences hormonal changes such as a decrease in oestrogen levels. The menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 and symptoms can typically last between four and eight years. Menopause can also be brought on abruptly by surgical removal of the ovaries, or by certain treatments such as chemotherapy.

While menopausal symptoms vary greatly, they commonly include hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, dizziness, fatigue, memory loss, depression, headaches, reduced concentration, joint stiffness, aches, and pains. These symptoms can have a detrimental impact on a person’s quality of life and can have a significant impact on personal relationships and work.

Menopause and the workplace

A study by the British Menopause Society found that there are over four million women of menopausal age in employment in the UK. A 2019 survey conducted by the CIPD found that three in five menopausal women were negatively affected at work. The TUC found 88% of workers who experienced menopause felt it had affected their working life, with six in ten having witnessed the menopause being treated as a joke within the workplace. BUPA found that almost 900,000 women in the UK had left their jobs because of menopausal symptoms.

These statistics paint a worrying picture and illustrate why the British Menopause Society has stated that there is an urgent need to raise menopause awareness in the workplace including among all managers and staff.

The Bellrock Menopause Policy sets out the rights of employees experiencing menopausal symptoms and explains the support available to them. Crucially the policy also aims to educate and inform managers about the potential symptoms of menopause, and how they can best support employees at work.

Earlier this year we launched the Bellrock Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) policy which underpins our ambition to be a place where everyone can belong and thrive at Bellrock. As part of this, we are committed to undertaking an impact assessment of our policies and processes to ensure that they are inclusive for all, including LGBT+ people. The Bellrock Menopause Policy is no exception to this and outlines how we can support trans and non-binary people who may be affected by menopause.

“World Menopause Day is a timely reminder of how crucial it is to raise awareness and understanding of menopause. I am pleased to be able to announce the roll-out of Bellrock’s inclusive policy that aims to create an environment where people feel confident enough to openly discuss their symptoms and ask for additional support at work.
The policy is our first step on this journey, and we recognise that we need to work harder to normalise conversations about menopause in the workplace.”

Sophie Chilvers, EDI Champion, Head of Organisational Development