A survey carried out by Acas found that 1 in 3 employers do not feel well equipped to support menopausal employees and over a third of employers are not confident they have the skills to support employees with menopause symptoms.
Menopause affects half of the population, which includes women as well as others that have a menstrual cycle, e.g. trans men and people who identify as non-binary. Most people go through menopause between the ages of 45 and 55 but it can also happen earlier or later. Symptoms can last for years and can include hot flushes, anxiety, and memory and concentration problems.
Menopause is not a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. If employees need adjustments at work because of the impact of these symptoms, they must show that the symptoms amount to a disability under s6 of the Equality Act 2010. However, menopause is a health and wellbeing concern for employees and needs to be handled sensitively. Employers would benefit from:
- Creating or updating policies to deal with menopause in the workplace;
- Creating a safe environment to allow employees and employers to discuss menopause at work; and
- Provide training to all staff (including men) so they are aware of the impact of the menopause.