Menopause and the Workplace
Earlier this year, there was a call to make menopause a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. The Government responded that the Equality Act 2010 already provided women with protection under the existing protected characteristics and there was no need to make any changes. A woman who has been treated unfairly because of menopausal symptoms could potentially bring a claim relating to sex, age or disability discrimination.
Why should employers take action to address menopause in the workplace?
Women over 50 are the fastest growing demographic in the UK workforce. Whilst not all women will suffer with menopausal symptoms, many will. Those symptoms and the severity of those symptoms will differ.
The Fawcett Society published what is believed to be the largest survey of menopausal women in the UK. The report showed that, despite consistent evidence that workplace support helps employees who are experiencing menopause, 8 in 10 women reported their employers had not shared information, had not provided any training, nor put in place a menopause policy.
The report ‘Menopause and the Workplace’, was published by the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee in July of this year and echoed that more needs to be done to help employees going through menopause and the need for greater understanding about menopause and its effects. The report can be found here:-
Over 800 employers have already signed The Menopause Workplace Pledge to publicly commit to progress in this area.
What should employers do?
- Introduce a menopause policy.
- Raise awareness.
- Provide training to Managers and employees.
- Identify support which is available.
Advice on this is included under our Employer Support Scheme.
For further support or a quote for that Scheme, please contact Ravinder Sandhu on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01543 420042.