Why don’t more businesses have menopause policies?

SUCCESSFUL entrepreneur, writer and TV presenter Liz Earle has warned that Jersey businesses risk losing valuable experienced women from the workplace, unless they introduce menopause awareness and policies.

Entrepreneur, author and TV presenter Liz Earle MBE 
Picture: JON GUEGAN (26132711)
Entrepreneur, author and TV presenter Liz Earle MBE Picture: JON GUEGAN (26132711)

Liz is a face and name many people will recognise from her books and TV appearances but she is also a successful businesswoman, having co-founded the Liz Earle Beauty Co – a skincare, haircare and fragrance brand which she sold to Avon in 2010 – and, more recently, Liz Earle Wellbeing.

Talking to an audience of invited guests at a recent HSBC Women in Business initiative, Ms Earle said the business landscape was changing and companies needed to be more alert to sustainability as well as the needs of older workers and wellness for all staff.

‘There are lots of reasons why it works for business. If you have a happier, more motivated, healthier team, then you’re more likely to retain staff. On a purely practical level, you are going to have fewer days lost to sickness, illness, injury, and you’re going to be more productive.

‘It’s just surprising it’s taken us so long to start talking about it and to start thinking, “oh my goodness, I need a wellness policy”, particularly as we all work harder, faster, longer hours, and, with the pensionable age going up, we are all working longer in life. It also means that your work becomes more enjoyable and if it’s more enjoyable, you are more likely to stay doing what you’re doing. Wellness is not expensive. That’s the really great thing. A lot of wellness is about knowledge.’

With the average age of menopause being 51, Ms Earle also said that women were likely to work for many more years both during and after the menopause.

‘There are maternity policies and paternity policies, but not everyone will have a baby, whereas every woman will have a menopause if she lives long enough,’ she commented.

She cited examples of companies who were losing their senior female staff because issues around the menopause were not being addressed. Once education and support was put in place, those women were able to continue being valuable and productive workers.

‘I think businesses should have a menopause policy. We have policies for diversity and for maternity, yet menopause will affect every female employee? There are calls in the UK to have mandatory workplace menopause policies. The British Menopause Society has template policies and helpful information.’

Ms Earle warned: ‘If businesses do not take the menopause into consideration, I think they run the risk of losing valuable, experienced senior women. So it’s important not to ignore it.’

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