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Discrimination - Menopause

A 2019 survey conducted by BUPA and the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that 3 in 5 menopausal women, usually aged between 45 and 55, were negatively affected at work and that almost 900,000 women in the UK left their jobs over an undefined period of time because of menopausal symptoms. This could mean that women are leaving businesses “at the peak of their experience” which will “impact productivity”. Women in this age group are potentially eligible for senior management roles, and so their exit can lessen diversity at executive levels. It can also contribute to the gender pay-gap and feed into a disparity in pensions.

Under the Equality Act 2010, menopause discrimination is largely covered under three protected characteristics: age, sex and disability discrimination. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 provides for safe working, which extends to the working conditions when experiencing menopausal symptoms. There have been several calls made for further legislation to require employers to put in place a workplace menopause policy to protect women going through the menopause, against discrimination whilst at work.

The Government Equalities Office 2019 ‘roadmap’ on gender equality commits the Government to conduct research into “what works to improve women’s reproductive health, across the life course” and “develop indicators relating to women’s health experience and impact on their work.”

This summer, the Government has also sought views to help inform the development of a Women’s Health Strategy. The Women and Equalities Committee launched an inquiry, which examines the extent of discrimination faced by menopausal women in the workplace and investigates how Government policy and workplace practices can better support those experiencing menopause. It also sought views on whether employers should be required to put in place a workplace menopause policy.

The inquiry closed on 17 September 2021 and further details will be released at a later date.

To find out how we can help implement a Menopause Policy in your organisation or to discuss the matter further, call us on 01935 411191 or email One of our trained HR consultants will be able to answer your queries and recommend some solutions.


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