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The government have rejected a range of proposals intended to make it easier for employees going through the menopause to receive the support they may need from their employers. But, do we need legislation to support employees’ well-being needs positively? 

What has the government rejected?

Protected characteristicthe government have refused to make menopause a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 (EA). There’s been growing case law to show that it’s possible for menopausal symptoms to amount to a disability for the purposes of the EA providing a level of protection from potential discrimination.

Menopause leave and model policiessaid to be ‘unnecessary’. Instead the government wants to focus on sharing best practice to support individuals and encourage flexible working arrangements to help manage symptoms.

Do we need legislation?

One in 10 women are likely to leave their job because of menopause symptoms. Need a few ideas to avoid becoming another statistic?

Policy – proactively build an open culture of understanding to support those affected. A great policy is just the beginning – it’s all about how you put it into practice. You’ll find ours on Intelligent Employment.

Training 77% of businesses don’t train their managers about menopause. Creating understanding around menopause isn’t just for those who may be affected. Training colleagues will help normalise discussion and enable everyone to approach conversations with confidence.

Proactive steps – create menopause champions within the workplace, ensure any uniform is lightweight and breathable, provide portable desktop fans, cover the cost of NHS HRT prescriptions, be open to flexible working patterns and home-working to help manage symptoms…we could go on!

Find out how to access our menopause policy through Intelligent Employment.
This update is accurate on the date it was sent (15 February 2023), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

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