On 24 January 2023, following the publication of the ‘Menopause and the Workplace’ report by the Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) last summer, the government published its response. In its report, the government rejected several recommendations made by the WEC, including the implementation of the combined discrimination provision under section 14 of the Equality Act 2010, highlighting concerns about the additional burden this would place on employers.
While agreeing that women who suffer longer term or substantial menopausal effects should be protected from discrimination at work, the government found that there was inadequate evidence to support new legislation and rejected the recommendation to make menopause a protected characteristic.
The government has, however, confirmed that in line with the recommendations, it will;
- appoint a Menopause Employment Champion to work with employers to ensure that menopausal employees are supported in the workplace; and
- lead a proposed employer-led communications campaign on menopause in work (although a time frame for this has not yet been set).