Supporting employees affected by the HRT shortage

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Health Assured team

04 May 2022

Around 80% of menopausal women will experience symptoms like hot flushes, sleeping problems, mood changes and joint stiffness. These symptoms can have a drastic impact on day-to-day life and last around four years on average.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) helps around one million women across the UK deal with these menopausal symptoms. And the UK is currently experiencing a shortage. Women are struggling to get the medication they need, putting them in uncertain, challenging waters.

The menopause puts women through a real emotional, physical and mental struggle. Not getting effective treatment could be life-threatening in some cases. And while the supply chain operations may be out of most people’s hands, we can make changes to support affected women during this time. If you're an employer, it's your responsibility to step in and guide these changes at work. We've highlighted why these changes are so important and some ways that you can make them below. 

The menopause at work 

Because we spend so much of our time in the workplace, employers have a vital role in the supporting process. Symptoms of the menopause can interfere with regular workplace duties, making work-life a struggle. Employers must recognise these challenges and do their best to provide support when it’s needed.

Health Assured recognises the importance of menopause awareness and support in the workplace. To highlight the importance of this we’ve signed the Menopause Workplace Pledge. We’re committed to supporting our employees through this stage of their career, and we want to help other organisations provide this support too. 

How to support employees affected by the HRT shortage 

Below, we’ve put together some tips for how you can consider your workers during this difficult time. 

Check in with your teams

Menopause symptoms are often misunderstood, meaning your employees might be suffering in silence. But you’ll never know if you don’t approach the conversation. In light of the recent news, it’s even more of a reason to check in on your employees’ wellbeing regularly. Try to educate yourself about how the menopause affects women and listen non-judgementally in your check-ins.

Talk openly about the menopause 

Starting the conversation around employee wellbeing at the workplace involves educating and communicating about health issues like the menopause. It could be helpful to run workshops to raise awareness and advise staff where they can turn to access more information or support. You might also wish to highlight the support options available to employees via email or with a poster.

Menopause champions

You might wish to train up employees or managers as experts in wellbeing. Courses like Mental Health First Aid and workshops on the menopause can provide the tools for these individuals to support others. When there’s a dedicated person to turn to, it might encourage more employees to open up about their struggles. It also highlights to employees your attitudes towards wellbeing.

Reasonable adjustments 

When employees have a long-term condition that affects their mental and physical health, they can ask for reasonable adjustments to their roles. These could include flexible working hours, reducing workload or additional equipment. It might only be a small change to you, but these shifts can benefit employees greatly.

 

Health Assured can help you support employees through the Menopause 

The menopause is an extremely difficult time for any employee to go through, especially right now. Our Employee Assistance Programme provides 24/7, 365 emotional support via the confidential counselling helpline.

Get in touch with one of our workplace wellbeing experts today on 0800 206 2532 to find out more.

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