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13 Mar 2024

3 ways menopause costs your business – and how employers can help

Despite the fact that half of the population goes through menopause, 42% of women say they’ve never discussed it with a healthcare provider, let alone their employer

3 ways menopause costs – and what businesses can do to help.jpg 1


Workplace fertility benefits are becoming more commonplace, helping employees pursue fertility healthcare, adoption, and other ways of creating a family.

But far too often, workplace conversations about this vital area of healthcare are limited to having children.

The same hormones that affect fertility also affect other areas of women’s health, especially as they age. And hormonal ageing like menopause can have a significant impact on employees and employers alike.

According to a Mayo Clinic study, menopause costs an estimated $1.8bn in lost working time per year in the US.

This affects productivity and employee retention, ultimately leading to higher costs for employers, too. But age-inclusive fertility benefits can offset these costs. 

Difficult and isolating

An estimated 1.1 billion people worldwide will have experienced menopause by 2025. Many of your employees are likely to be managing common symptoms like hot flushes and side-effects such as sleep loss and mood-related symptoms.

With 40% of people experiencing menopausal symptoms revealing that their symptoms interfere with their job performance, going through menopause can be difficult and isolating. Nearly one in five even considered leaving their job because of a lack of workplace support.

The impact of menopause in the workplace comes with a lot of stigma. Despite the fact that half of the population goes through menopause, 42% of women say they’ve never discussed menopause with a healthcare provider, and only one in five women have received a referral to a menopause specialist — leaving them suffering alone and without care. 

In fact, fewer than one in five say they had a high level of understanding of menopause before symptoms even began.

Workplace costs associated with menopause:

1. Productivity loss

Menopause can be incredibly disruptive for employees at work. Symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, and memory lapses, paired with everyday stressors from work, can make employees less productive.

‍This presenteeism costs employers 10 times more than absenteeism — when employees take time off for personal matters.

And considering many of your managers and workplace leaders may be at or nearing menopause age, this could be detrimental to them and their teams.

By understanding the impact of these symptoms and offering flexibility and resources for symptom management, employers can create a supportive environment where employees can take care of themselves and keep up with their work.

2. Employee turnover and early retirement 

Menopause can be stressful, and because of virtually nonexistent support, some studies suggest people would leave their jobs and retire early because of symptoms.

More than half (54%) of employees going through menopause have considered making a work-related change to better manage symptoms, including looking for including reducing hours and changing careers. 

Nearly 20% of people going through menopause say they may consider leaving the workforce because their symptoms badly affect their quality of life. 

A 2019 UK study found that 900,000 women quit their jobs due to menopause. Without support, these trends are likely to continue.

And since it can cost one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary to replace them – and even more for a senior leader – menopause support can go a long way when it comes to reducing costs.‍

3. Healthcare costs

Roughly 60% of women going through menopause will consult a healthcare provider. And even then, only one out of five obstetrician/gynaecologist in the US are trained in menopause care, and while all US reproductive endocrinologists are trained, not all accept menopause patients.

Many suffers will not seek support at all and increase their risk of developing more severe and costly conditions, like osteoporosis.

But regular and accurate medical care upfront reduces the need for costly outpatient visits and unnecessary pharmacy costs later on.  

Now is the time for employers to start considering the impact of menopause on employees and the costs it brings. Without support, employees who enter menopause can become less productive, unsatisfied, and even driven to leave their jobs.

But with comprehensive fertility healthcare benefits, like Carrot, employers can offer inclusive support for their employees at all stages of their lives. 

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