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"Is Your Company Prepared to Support Menopause in the Workplace with reasonable adjustments?"

Menopause in the workplace
Menopause in the workplace

Menopause in the workplace is an important but often overlooked issue. Many women experience symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating during menopause, which can impact their productivity, wellbeing, and overall experience at work.

Employers can support women going through menopause by creating a more inclusive and understanding work environment. This can include providing flexible work arrangements, such as the option to work from home or adjust working hours to accommodate fluctuating energy levels. Offering access to resources and information about menopause, such as educational materials or workshops, can also be beneficial.

Additionally, employers should encourage open communication about menopause and its effects, so that women feel comfortable discussing their needs and concerns with their managers or HR departments. By raising awareness and implementing supportive policies, workplaces can better support women during this important stage of life.

Menopause symptoms can be considered a disability and employers face being sued if they do not make "reasonable adjustments", a watchdog has said.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) issued the guidance to clarify the legal obligations to workers going through the menopause. ACAS has provided examples of what employers can offer to include: -

Making changes to the workplace

For example:

  • changing the lighting above someone's desk or workstation

  • changing the layout of a work area or the entrance to a building

  • providing an accessible car parking space

  • holding a job interview in a room that's accessible for someone who uses a wheelchair

Changing someone's working arrangements

For example:

  • changing someone's working patterns

  • distributing someone's breaks more evenly across the day

  • flexible working

  • working from home or hybrid working

  • reasonable adjustments for absence – including time off for medical appointments and treatment

  • a phased return to work after absence

Finding a different way to do something

For example:

  • distributing work differently within a team

  • giving someone different responsibilities or offering another suitable role

  • giving someone more time to do written or reading tests that are part of an interview

  • finding a different way to train someone if they find classroom-based training difficult

Providing equipment, services or support

For example:

  • providing extra or adapted equipment, such as chairs, computer software and phones

  • providing emails and documents in an accessible format

  • giving one-to-one support, for example to help someone prioritise their work

  • providing other specialist support, for example a sign language interpreter

The employer is responsible for paying for any reasonable adjustments.

Many adjustments will be simple and affordable. However, a small employer might not be able to afford as much as a large organisation.

Employees can get support from "Access to Work", which is a government scheme that can help people with a physical or mental health condition or disability to get or stay in work. Someone may be eligible for a grant to help pay for practical support. This is not a substitute for the employer's legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments or pay for them.

Failing to make "reasonable adjustments" amounts to disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 if the symptoms have a "long-term and substantial impact" on a woman's ability to carry out their usual day-to-day activities, the EHRC said.

Please get in touch to learn more about what Enhancing Minds can offer your workplace about Menopause in the workplace.

Enhancing Minds offers training in Stress, Resilience, Sleep, Mindfulness, Menopause and High Performance Teams.

Enhancing Minds - wellbeing training for workplaces


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