How can an employer assist menopausal employees?

by Andra Stanton

1 September 2023

Since 2021, there has been a considerable increase in tribunal cases citing menopause. Although there is (currently) no menopause specific employment legislation, the existing discrimination and unfair dismissal regimes may provide some protection to menopausal employees, depending on the circumstances.

It is therefore important that employers have policies and procedures in place to manage the effects of menopause, and consequently its exposure to related tribunal cases. When it comes to managing menopausal effects, Acas suggests the following:

  • Training managers;
  • Carrying out health and safety checks;
  • Developing a menopause policy;
  • Managing sickness absence and job performance; and
  • Having a menopause workplace champion.

A recent survey of 2,000 workers has also identified the following to be the most feasible workplace adjustments to assist those experiencing negative symptoms of menstruation and menopause at work:

  • Fresh air;
  • Comfortable desk seating;
  • Natural light;
  • A private room;
  • Temperature-controlled spaces; and
  • More focus rooms with less distractions.

Although the Government has been consistent in its resistance to reform employment law in relation to menopause (especially the Equality Act 2010), it will be interesting to see whether the increase in menopause related tribunal cases may prompt a change in position.

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