Menopause in the Workplace – Spotlight for Employers

New Guidance on Menopause: Supporting Your Team.

At our recruitment agency, we prioritise building a workplace that embraces diversity and supports every employee’s well-being. The spotlight is now on the new menopause guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), emphasising the importance of understanding and accommodating menopausal symptoms in the workplace.

The new EHRC guidance provides clarity on employers’ responsibilities and offers us valuable insights on how to best support employees going through this natural phase of life. According to CIPD research, two thirds of working women aged 40-60 with menopausal symptoms said they’ve mostly had a negative impact on them at work.

Baroness Kishwer Falkner, chair of the EHRC, said: “As Britain’s equality watchdog, we are concerned both by how many women report being forced out of a role (owing) to their menopause-related symptoms and how many don’t feel safe enough to request the workplace adjustments.”

Its important to stay informed and create a supportive environment for your team members experiencing menopause. Let’s break down the key points you should be aware of.

Employers’ Obligations on menopause in the workplace.

The Equality Act 2010 protects employees from discrimination based on age, sex and disability. The EHRC says that where menopause symptoms have a long-term and substantial impact on a worker’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, these symptoms could be considered a disability. This means you might need to make reasonable adjustments to support your employees.

Health and safety first: You’re legally required to assess and manage risks in the workplace, and that includes factors impacting your employees’ health, like menopause.

What You Can Do:

  • Educate yourself and your managers: Get clued up on the EHRC guidance and its implications. This will help you answer questions and create informed policies.
  • Take a look at your existing policies: Are your current policies, like flexible working or dress codes, inclusive enough to support employees experiencing menopause? Let’s make sure everyone feels comfortable at work.
  • Talk openly and honestly: Encourage open and respectful dialogue about menopause. Workshops, info sessions, or anonymous surveys can be a great way to get the conversation started.
  • Offer support resources: Provide access to information on managing symptoms, employee assistance programs, or referrals to healthcare professionals.
  • Make adjustments when needed: If an employee’s symptoms affect their work, talk to them and see if there are adjustments you can make, like flexible hours or a cooler workspace. Everyone’s situation is different, so be understanding.

Remember, creating a safe space for open communication is key. Here are some tips:

  • Normalise the conversation: Let’s make talking about menopause as normal as chatting about the weekend!
  • Train your managers: Don’t assume your managers know how to handle sensitive topics. Equip them with the skills to have supportive and sensitive conversations with employees.
  • Lead by example: Show your commitment by participating in awareness initiatives or even sharing your own experiences (if comfortable, of course). ️

By understanding your obligations and taking these steps, you can create a welcoming and inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued, supported, and able to thrive at all stages of their lives.

Want to learn more?

This is a spotlight on new employer guidance, not an expert guide. To make sure you get the right information, check out the EHRC guidance.

As always, Octopus Personnel is here to help. If you have any questions or need some extra support, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re just a phone call or email away.

Looking for more inspiration on supporting your employees? Read our blog How can businesses support workers in the cost of living crisis? 


Sandra Smart

About the author

I believe that recruitment is at the heart of a growing economy and that a different type of recruitment service, with honesty, efficiency and integrity at its heart, can benefit all. Octopus Personnel is the result of hard work, focus and commitment to that vision – to delivering consistently great results for our candidates and clients alike, as well as ensuring the agency is a vibrant, inclusive, inspirational place to work and develop rewarding careers.