EHRC announce new guidance on menopause in the workplace

Today, the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has announced new guidance on menopause in the workplace, after women felt compelled to resign from their roles due to the negative impacts of menopausal symptoms.

Related topics:  Menopause,  WRA
Tabitha Lambie | Editor, Protection Reporter
23rd February 2024
"An employer understanding their legal duties is the foundation of equality in the workplace."
- Baroness Kishwer Falkner, Chairwoman of the EHRC

The latest research has recorded one in ten women have left the workforce due to menopausal symptoms, while over 60%of working women between the ages of 40-60 years old have been negatively impacted at work. However, only a minority of women have requested workplace adjustments during these challenging periods, often citing concerns about potential reactions.

With the number of women working through the menopause increasing year-on-year, the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) believes it’s “essential that employers know how to support workers experiencing menopausal symptoms […] not only does this ensure they meet their legal responsibilities, but also that women are able to continue to contribute to the workplace and benefit from work.”

New guidance from the EHRC aims to clarify legal obligations and provide practical tips for employers facilitating reasonable adjustments, as well as foster positive conversations about the menopause in the workplace.

Under the Equality Act 2010, if menopausal symptoms have a long-term and substantial impact on someone’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, this may be considered a disability. Therefore, an employer has a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments and not discriminate.

Employers are encouraged to carefully consider this EHRC guidance and adopt these policies & practices accordingly, to ensure fairness and inclusivity in the workplace.

Baroness Kishwer Falkner, Chairwoman of the EHRC, said “we’re concerned both by how many women report being forced out of a role due to their menopause-related symptoms and how many don’t feel safe enough to request the workplace adjustments.”

“We hope this guidance helps ensure every woman going through the menopause is treated fairly and can work in a supportive and safe environment,” she concluded.

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