Menopause in the workplace - top 10 points

Posted on 20 March 2024 by Ian Mundy

With thanks to Moorcroft LLP, the Online Menopause Centre (OMC), The Equality & Human Rights Commission and the Local Government Association for helping us to create this insightful and informative overview. All statistics and information has been gathered from their recent reports.

Despite Victoria Atkins, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, speaking at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Women's Health Summit recently to promote the 2nd year of the Government's Women's Health Strategy for England, there continues to be no change to amend the Equality Act (2010) and have Menopause stated as a protected characteristic. This poses problems in employment and an absence of any regulated best practice on how such health conditions should be managed. Employers are left to use their own initiative and support their staff with little guidance.

It is important to note, however, that disputes of harassment and victimisation are on the rise, and should symptoms relating to menopause become long-term conditions they could be considered a disability, leaving legal challenge open for this and other discriminatory protected characteristics, such as age and sex, which can lead to unfair or constructive dismissal claims. Such claims as the case of A v Bonmarche Ltd. 2019, where compensation of nearly £28,000 was awarded).

Did you know?

What general support is currently in place for those affected by menopause?

There has been a growing recognition of the importance of supporting employees going through menopause in the workplace. Some initiatives and support mechanisms that may be in place include:

  1. Raising Awareness through educational materials to increase understanding
  2. Offering flexible working arrangements
  3. Access to Healthcare including Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs)
  4. Fulfilling your duty of care from a health and safety perspective
  5. Making reasonable adjustments in accordance with the Equality Act (2010)

But what else can employers do?

6. Consider what Wellbeing Programmes can be put in place to guide and support staff and managers

7. Normalise the subject, remove the taboo, appoint Champions and encourage discussion

8. Ensure Menopause (and perimenopause too) is covered in best practice policy and procedure

9. Have Menopause Mentors available in the workplace that help to retain invaluable talent

10. Train staff, managers and leaders to ensure they are in the know of what they need

Most importantly... Be inclusive and work through anyone's situation on an individual basis and embrace the unique diversity of what each of your employees give - after all #itsallaboutthepeople 💜.

For more information about how You Consultancy can support your Menopause and Workplace Wellbeing needs book a meeting straight into our diaries or reach out via email alice@hr-od.co.uk

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