The Menopause Discussion
- Date: Tuesday 22nd October 2019
- PDF: Download
You may have heard in recent news that discussions are under way to recognise menopausal symptoms as a protected characteristic and force employers to make reasonable adjustments for affected employees.
Menopause is already recognised under disability provisions within the Equality Act 2010 but to date only a few cases have been heard by tribunals, enforcing the issue.
Women over the age of 45 are the fastest growing group in the labour market and with 59% of those suffering from symptoms of menopause reporting that it has an impact on their performance, it is no longer an issue an employer can ignore.
Symptoms of menopause can include:
- hot flushes
- night sweats
- difficulty sleeping
- low mood or anxiety
- problems with memory and concentration
As an employer, there are some quick fixes you can implement to support affected employees:
- Encouraging an environment of openness and transparency where everyone can talk about menopause.
- Raising awareness, understanding and education of the menopause.
- Create accessible, well-publicised policy or guidance documents for colleagues and line managers.
- Ensure employees feel comfortable talking to their line managers, and in turn that managers feel confident to have supportive conversations with employees. Also, that both have access to occupational health if needed.
- Offer appropriate reasonable adjustments and support, bearing in mind that all women experience menopause differently.
- Giving consideration to menopause-related symptoms in the workplace environment e.g. facilities and uniforms.
- Approach formal processes on the assumption that the employee is disabled, to help you deal with issues in a fair and reasonable way.
Source: Manuela Grossmann