Managing Menopause in the Workplace Hub
Is your workplace menopause friendly? Get started today – access a full range of menopause-related resources below.
Our Menopause Hub is designed to help employers and HR professionals support their line managers, encourage an open, inclusive culture, and highlight the legal risks employers must be alert to when managing menopausal employees.
Please be aware that this webinar was recorded on August 11, 2022. The information presented in this recording was accurate as of that date.
Free webinar | Watch on demand
Managing Menopause in the Workplace
Up to a third of women will experience severe menopausal symptoms that can impact their quality of life. Many women report greater difficulty managing symptoms at work and feel unable to disclose their menopausal status for fear of being stigmatised.
With this in mind, it’s incumbent upon employers to provide the necessary support and to create an environment where people feel able to speak openly about menopause at work.
Hosted by WorkNest’s Employment Law & HR Training Manager, Lorna Gemmell, and Head of Team and Solicitor, Jane Hallas, during this webinar you will learn:
- What the menopause is, including common symptoms and how it might impact women (and trans and non-binary people) at work
- How to support employees going through the menopause
- Employers’ obligations and the legal risks to be aware of when managing menopausal employees
- The role that line managers and workplace culture can play in supporting staff.
HR course: Menopause Awareness Training
According to a report from gender equality and women’s rights at work charity, The Fawcett Society, eight out of 10 women say their employer hasn’t shared information, trained staff, or put in place a menopause absence policy.
With this in mind, it’s incumbent upon organisations to upskill managers so that they can provide the necessary support to employees, and to create an environment where people feel able to speak openly about menopause at work. Our HR training course can help you to do just that.
Free menopause resources
Is the menopause a taboo subject in your workplace?
If you’re unsure how to best support your line managers and employees, WorkNest’s legal and HR experts can help you to:
- Develop a menopause policy that’s tailored to your workplace
- Navigate employee concerns and reasonable adjustments
- Minimise the risk of performance issues confidently and compliantly
- Implement menopause training to help you and your line managers better support your employees
Book a free consultation with our team to discuss the best options for you based on your specific challenges.
From our ‘Managing Menopause in the Workplace’ webinar
Although not a legal requirement, it would be great if you could offer the support of a Menopause Officer/Champion as it can be helpful for staff to have someone that they can seek support from who isn’t their own line manager. The Officer/Champion would need to be willing to take on the role and is likely to require some additional training. It’s often someone from the HR department or another employee who has an interest in supporting their colleagues (usually someone who has gone through the menopause themselves).
You are entitled to ask what the reason for their absence is; however, if they are describing symptoms (e.g. poor sleep) but not the menopause as being the cause, you could ask “are you aware of any underlying cause of the symptoms that have led to your increased number of absences?” and make it clear that the purpose of the enquiry is to offer support.
Occupational Health (OH) assessments can be very helpful in circumstances where an employee’s health issues are impacting them at work. An OH assessment will provide you with more information about the employee’s health issues and provide practical suggestions for measures that could support the employee. We have an Occupational Health division within WorkNest, should you wish to arrange an assessment through us.
Potentially yes, if the side effects meet the definition of disability within the Equality Act 2010 and as interpreted by case law. In reality, the determining factor will usually be the severity of the employee’s symptoms. As discussed during the webinar, there have been Employment Tribunal judgments where the Tribunal has accepted that the employee was disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act due to their menopause symptoms.
For a disability discrimination claim, the employer either has to know or could reasonably know that the employee is experiencing symptoms of the menopause and those symptoms must meet the definition of being disabled. If the employee is clearly struggling with symptoms and/or their work, the manager should open up a conversation with the employee. The conversation would start with general questions (e.g. “how are you?”, “how are you finding work at the moment?”). If the employee doesn’t share any details, the next step would be for the manager to explain their observations in an objective and factual (and supportive) way. It wouldn’t usually be the manager’s place to suggest that the menopause could be a factor.