Kate Brooks

Partner, Solicitor & Head of Employment/HR Services

DATE PUBLISHED: 16 May 2024 LAST UPDATED: 16 May 2024

Menopause in the workplace – what needs to be in an employer’s policy

Women facing menopause symptoms are the fastest growing demographic in the workplace.

There are many commercial reasons why it is imperative for employers to be talking menopause and have a policy in place, such as:

  • Achieving and maintaining diversity.
  • Improving recruitment, retention, and development of staff.
  • Removing barriers to progression for women, avoiding loss of talent and experience.
  • Improving engagement, reduce absence, and avoid presenteeism; and
  • Reducing the risks of disputes and claims.

There are also legal obligations relevant to menopause in the workplace, which include:

  • Risk of unlawful discrimination. While menopause is not necessarily protected under the discrimination legislation, symptoms of the menopause could certainly amount to a disability, and menopause also relates to the protected characteristics of age and sex;
  • Providing a safe place of work for all to include ensuring the health, safety and welfare of all employee; and
  • Following fair and reasonable processes in relation to capability which can include performance and sickness absence. The emphasis in these processes must always be around support to achieve standards of the role.

Recommendations for Employers

We highly recommend that employers take the following steps:

  • Facilitate and encourage open conversations in the workplace.
  • Educate all employees, through regular training sessions.
  • Raise awareness through communications with staff.
  • Signpost staff to support, and more information.
  • Have a written policy that is accessible to all and provides information on how to support and signpost colleagues.
  • Appoint menopause or wellbeing champions.
  • Consider adjusting working practices e.g. to incorporate regular breaks, working from home, rest places; or physical environment e.g. location of a desk near a window, or providing a desk fan.

How can we help?

We have a network of HR professionals and business owners who we support by providing employment law and HR advice. We run a free, monthly HR Forum in partnership with Rubicon Recruitment. If you are a business owner or have responsibility for HR please get in touch to join our forum us on 01202 525333 or by email at employment@ellisjones.co.uk.

In our recent HR Forum, we were lucky enough to have special guest, Silvana Greenfield, educating our network of HR professionals on the importance of opening conversations and providing training. Silvana is an expert in providing training to employers of all sizes Home – Silvana Greenfield.

We were also joined by Lela Brooke who is a specialist menopause coach that can provide executive coaching sessions for individuals in relation to menopause. Lela Brooke. (Chartered MCIPD) – Personal Coaching Specialist – Pause Training | LinkedIn

How can we help?

When you submit this form an email will be sent to the relevant department who will contact you within 48 hours. If you require urgent advice please call 01202 525333.

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