Introduction to this document

Menopause policy

Employees transitioning through the menopause may be experiencing symptoms that can adversely impact their work life, so put in place our policy to set out how you’ll support them.

Legislative setting

The menopause will affect a significant proportion of your workforce, so it’s essential for you to provide the necessary practical support to your affected employees. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 requires you to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all your workers, including those transitioning through the menopause, and you’re also required to carry out risk assessments which should include specific risks to menopausal employees. The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination and harassment on the grounds of certain protected characteristics, which include sex and disability. If menopausal employees aren’t supported properly, there’s a risk they could bring a sex discrimination claim, so do consider menopause symptoms in the same way as other medical conditions. Medical conditions linked to the menopause transition may also meet the definition of a disability and so require reasonable adjustments and justification of any disability-related discrimination.

Policy provisions

Our Menopause Policy is aimed at addressing what is still seen by many as a “taboo” subject by providing basic information to increase awareness about what the menopause is and what the common symptoms of it are, giving advice for line managers on how to encourage open communication about the menopause with affected employees and providing practical workplace adjustments and solutions which will help to create a safe, supportive and more comfortable working environment for those employees who are transitioning through the menopause. The average age for women to experience the menopause in the UK is 51 and the transition (perimenopause) can start several years earlier. The menopause typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 and in rare cases can happen before the age of 40 and can also occur as a result of surgery or medical treatment. However, there is no uniform experience as employees can be affected in different ways and their symptoms can vary enormously in type, amount, severity and length. It’s also a transition which can last many years; it’s not a one-off event. Therefore, be aware that you may need to put different levels and types of support and adjustments in place for different employees.

Document

menopause policy

UPDATED08 Nov 2019
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