Menopause In The Workplace
Menopause In the Workplace
Companies should be committed to providing an inclusive and supportive working environment for all staff, this includes supporting menopause in the workplace.
CIPD guidance recognises that the menopause is an important gender and age equality issue, and should be part of an organisations approach to developing inclusive workplaces, supporting women’s progression at work throughout their employment cycle.
If women experiencing menopause are treated detrimentally because of menopause symptoms, it could potentially give rise to sex and age discrimination.
Therefore, as part of an overall wellness policy, companies should consider how they will support their staff who are experiencing symptoms associated with menopause or perimenopause, through the implementation of a Menopause Policy.
Aim of a menopause policy
The aim of a menopause policy is to support staff experiencing menopause in the workplace and help them to minimise the impact it can have on them in the workplace.
The menopause policy should inform staff and managers about the potential symptoms of menopause, what the potential consequences can be and what support is available to them. The policy will help support those experiencing menopause in the workplace, keeping talented females in the workplace.
Companies should aim to create an environment where staff feel confident enough to raise issues about their symptoms and ask for reasonable adjustments at work, a menopause policy is a step in creating this environment.
Line manager’s role in implementing the menopause policy
Line managers will play an important role in the implementation of the menopause policy, and they should make sure that they understand the Menopause Policy and supporting guidance.
They should help staff experiencing the menopause to feel supported, and to be effective in their role and ensure staff are aware of sources of help and support available to them, from both internal and external sources.
Line managers should be trained on having open discussions with staff and to treat the conversation sensitively and professionally. They should be aware of sources of support for staff and be understanding and make fair decisions, with respect to requests for reasonable adjustments.
It is important to bear in mind that a ‘one size fits all’ approach will be counterproductive as each person experiencing the menopause will have different symptoms and levels of severity, for varying lengths of time.
Line managers should ensure ongoing dialogue and review arrangements regularly to check that any reasonable adjustments agreed remain appropriate and adequate and seek further advice from an Occupational Health & well-being service if required.
Having a well-thought-out menopause policy within the workplace will give employees the necessary tools to feel confident in approaching their line managers when dealing with menopause in the workplace, taking away the fear and worry of speaking openly about their symptoms in a safe environment.
Menopause recommendations to UK government in 2023
Accepted the recommendation for menopause ambassador
The recommendations were submitted to the UK Government to
appoint a Menopause ambassador. The ambassador would train and help business
stakeholders to understand the best practices and disseminate awareness
This recommendation was accepted, and the ambassador will
work alongside the Women’s Health Ambassador limiting the duplication of
The main aim of appointing a menopause ambassador is to raise
awareness of menopause in the workplace.
Rejected model menopause policies
Alongside appointing a menopause ambassador, it was
recommended to consult with the ambassador to develop “model menopause
policies” covering reasonable adjustments requests, sick leave as a result of
menopause symptoms, and training to create a supportive workplace.
However, the Government felt this was not necessary, they
feel the more effective measure is to highlight relevant policies within their
industry, which allows the business to tailor the policies to business needs.
Rejected menopause leave
The UK Government was also asked to trial a “menopause leave
policy” with the aim of supporting women experiencing menopausal symptoms
making working difficult. This trial was
to start with large public sector employers and roll out after 12 months.
Unfortunately, the government rejected this recommendation, stating
they don’t believe it is necessary. The Government’s core focus is to encourage
employers to develop and carry out menopause policies with best practices and
other support measures including flexible working. The UK Government feel “menopause
leave” would be “counterproductive” for achieving their goal for employers to
implement better menopause policies.
How we can help your business with a menopause policy
Our team of HR consultants can help your business implement a menopause policy that safeguards your business and helps support your employees experiencing the menopause symptoms. Our HR consultants can also assist you through any employee issues relating to menopause and identify reasonable adjustments.
Menopause has been called to become a protected characteristic in the UK under the Equality Act by MP’s in July 2022, and getting ahead of this and implementing a menopause policy is highly recommended.
Building a supportive culture for Menopause in the Workplace
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