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  • Impact Story
    Health & Safety

Shaping best practice around menstruation and menopause in the workplace

Helping all organizations support employees experiencing menstruation, menstrual health and menopause through our inclusive and actionable guidance.

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An urgent step towards workplace gender equity

Workplaces can do more to support people experiencing menstruation, menstrual health and menopause to ensure they continue to thrive professionally.

Menstrual and menopausal health is a highly publicized topic within the UK. However, organizations are losing critical talent due to underdeveloped policies which don’t adequately address the health needs of individuals within the workplace.

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The Challenge

Changing the conversation around a natural process

The stigma surrounding menopause and menstruation has stalled effective support in the workplace for individuals, leading to avoidable stress for employees and unfairness within businesses.

Menstruation and peri/menopause are natural bodily processes experienced by approximately 50% of the population, yet they have traditionally been stigmatized, overlooked and misunderstood - both within workplaces and wider society. Only a minority of UK workplaces have specific policies in place for helping individuals experiencing menstruation and menopause. This is putting job satisfaction, staff retention, and increased productivity at risk for businesses unless they can build an inclusive and equitable environment.

The Solution

A groundbreaking workplace standard

The creation of the BS 30416 Menstruation, menstrual health and menopause in the workplace standard gives business leaders, employers and managers the tools to establish inclusive organizations.

To deliver more positive outcomes for women's rights at work, BS 30416 contains guidance around non-stigmatizing language, access to facilities, and menstruation and menopause advocates, as well as provisions for flexible working for more severe symptoms (e.g. those experiencing endometriosis). Other practical measures cover comfortable seating, fans at desks and alternative uniforms. Open communication between employees and managers are also encouraged to remove the workplace stigma around menstruation, menstrual health and menopause.

A more equitable and resilient workforce

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  • Needed

    A more welcoming business environment

  • Needed

    Improve staff retention and prolong fulfilling careers

  • Needed

    Demonstrate best practice around diversity and inclusion

  • Needed

    Better productivity rates and fewer sickness absences

  • Needed

    Forging the path for greater gender equity

  • Needed

    Destigmatizing conversations around menstruation and menopause across society

The effect of menopause and menstruation on the workforce

  • 12%

    of world's population (1 billion people) will experience menstruation or menopause by 2025.

  • Around 900,000

    women cite menopause as reason for leaving workforce.

  • 25%

    of employees feel unable to talk openly about menstruation.

  • 58%

    of respondents in Australia approved of taking menstrual leave.

Testimonial

“With menopause driving scores of women out of the workforce each year, addressing it is essential.” 

Liv Garfield CEO, Severn Trent Plc
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Why BSI

Supporting women's rights in the workplace

We shape and embed best practice so that businesses can become future ready. As a global standards organization committed to delivering a positive impact for society, BSI empowers industries to deliver equitable workplaces worldwide.

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Delivering equity through standards

Partner with us to create more inclusive and empowering workplaces through standards and guidance geared towards inclusive best practice.

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