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Menopause in the workplace: Guidance for employers

Published: 22 February 2024

Last updated: 22 February 2024

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Background

These resources are designed to help employers understand their legal obligations in relation to supporting workers experiencing menopausal symptoms.

Menopause and perimenopause

Menopause is when a woman’s periods stop due to lower hormone levels. It usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55, but can also be earlier or later. It can happen for a number of reasons, including:

  • naturally
  • genetics
  • surgery
  • cancer treatments

Sometimes the reason is unknown.

Perimenopause is when a woman has symptoms of menopause, but periods have not stopped.

The menopause can cause a range of both physical and psychological symptoms. You can find more information on the range of symptoms here.

Impact at work

Menopause symptoms can have a significant impact on women at work.

Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that two thirds (67%) of working women between the ages of 40 and 60 with experience of menopausal symptoms said they have had a mostly negative impact on them at work.

Of those who were negatively affected at work:

  • 79% said they were less able to concentrate
  • 68% said they experienced more stress
  • nearly half (49%) said they felt less patient with clients and colleagues, and
  • 46% felt less physically able to carry out work tasks.

As a result of this, over half of respondents were able to think of a time when they were unable to go into work due to their menopause symptoms.

Further research by the Fawcett Society found that one in ten women surveyed who were employed during the menopause left work due to menopause symptoms.

Explainer videos

Watch these videos to find out about: 

  • your legal obligations as an employer
  • top tips for supporting workers experiencing menopause

Menopause and the Equality Act 2010

This video is an introduction to menopause in the workplace. It details how workers experiencing menopause symptoms may be protected by the Equality Act 2010, and outlines the legal obligations that employers have under the Act.

Making workplace adjustments and preventing discrimination

This video provides examples of workplace adjustments in practice and changes that employers can make to support their workers and prevent discrimination. It explains the risks associated with failing to make such adjustments and outlines the benefits of taking proactive steps.

Conversations about the menopause

This video provides guidance on having conversations about the menopause. It explains key ways that employers can encourage a culture where workers feel able to talk about their symptoms and ask for adjustments to their work. It explains how employers can involve all workers in conversations about the menopause, and the benefits of doing so.

We spoke to staff at the University of Greenwich to find out how they have created a menopause-friendly workplace. 

Watch the videos here.

Acknowledgements

The following organisations were part of our reference group. Their contribution supported the development of these resources. 

  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
  • Chartered Management Institute
  • Federation of Small Businesses
  • Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace
  • The Fawcett Society
  • The Menopause Charity
  • Wellbeing of Women
  • Welsh Government

Contact Acas for further information

If you are involved in an employment dispute or are seeking information on employment rights and rules, you can contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas):

Freephone: 0300 123 1100 (8am to 6pm Monday to Friday)

Text Relay service: 18001 0300 123 1100.

Visit the Acas website
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0300 123 1100

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