ACAS has published guidance to help employers manage and support menopausal staff. The guidance seeks to educate employers about the menopause as well as suggesting a number of measures that employers can adopt to support staff.
Practical tips in the ACAS guidance include:
- Ensuring health and safety checks are suitable – to make sure menopausal symptoms are not made worse the by the workplace and that changes to manage symptoms are implemented where reasonable.
- Creating and implementing a menopause policy.
- Providing flexibility, for example altering working hours.
- Creating an open and trusted culture within teams, raising awareness and training managers on the effects and symptoms of menopause.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR EMPLOYERS?
Menopause is not specifically protected under discrimination legislation. However, if an employee is treated unfairly because of the menopause, it may well amount to discrimination on the basis of sex, age or disability. As well as these legal obligations, it is clearly in the interest of business to retain the talent and experience of these women.
Employers should consider introducing a menopause policy that sets out how employees will be supported. Training should also be provided for managers.