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26 January 2023

Menopause support in the workplace recommendations rejected

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Government ministers have published their response to the recommendations put forward by the Women and Equalities Committee to improve menopause support in the workplace.


Lack of menopause support

The Women and Equalities Committee report published in July 2022 called for urgent actions to prevent vast numbers of talented menopausal women from quitting their jobs.

A survey in 2022, found one in 10 women who worked during menopause left their job due to their symptoms. The research was supported by the Fawcett Society, which has produced a report called Menopause And The Workplace.


Menopause workplace recommendations rejected

Citing potential discrimination against men, ministers reject five of the 12 recommendations put forward to improve menopause support in the workplace.  The five recommendations rejected are:

  • Calls for a menopause specialist or specialist service in every Clinical Commissioning Group area by 2024
  • In consultation with the Menopause Ambassador, the production of model menopause policies to assist employers
  • Calls for a large-scale pilot of menopause leave in England
  • Immediately commence section 14 of the Equality Act 2010, this is currently not in force and covers direct discrimination on up to two combined grounds, e.g. disability and gender, or disability and race. This is often  known as ‘dual discrimination
  • Menopause as a protected characteristic under the Equality Act

Unless it is mandatory, it is unlikely organisations will do anything. However, HR can help shape the culture of work to help improve menopause support in the workplace. HR also shape and provide support in the following areas to help improve menopause support in the workplace:

  • Flexible working including hybrid working and change in the working pattern
  • Awareness training for leadership, management and the workforce.
  • Support through employee assistance programmes (EAP)



Menopause And The Workplace Report

Menopause and the workplace: Government Response to the Committee’s First Report of Session 2022-2023