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On 12th January 2023, the government provided its official response to the Women and Equalities Committee Menopause and the Workplace report – and it makes for an interesting read.

The report contained a number of recommendations and, although the government accepted some of the recommendations, it also pushed back on a number of them, giving various reasons for doing so.

Recommendations, which it accepted, included that the government should lead the way in providing good quality and accurate information about the menopause to the general public, that the cost of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) prescriptions should be reduced, and that a menopause ambassador should be appointed to work with businesses, unions and advisory groups to encourage awareness, good practice and guidance to employers.

Those recommendations that were not accepted included piloting a ‘menopause leave’ scheme, creating a new protected characteristic of menopause in the Equality Act, and creating model menopause policies for businesses and companies to use when addressing these issues internally.

With this last recommendation, the government stated in its response that it did not believe a model menopause policy was necessary at this moment, but it agreed that there is much that employers can and should do to help their employees experiencing the menopause.

What should employers do?

Acas has stated that employers that create and support an open environment around the menopause can help affected staff to continue to do their job confidently and effectively.

We advise that the first step for employers to consider is implementing a menopause policy. Having a policy in place will raise awareness of menopause and its impact in the workplace, encourage open conversations between line managers and staff and direct staff to relevant advice and assistance.

Secondly, employers should consider training within the workplace to help them educate and inform workplace colleagues about the potential symptoms of the menopause, and how they can support women at work.

Contact our employment law solicitors

If you are an employer that requires assistance with either of these steps, or any of the issues raised in this article, please don't hesitate to contact our employment law team who will be happy to assist. Complete the form below and one of our solicitors will be in touch.

Key Contacts

Helen Watson

Partner | Head of Employment Law

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Debbie Coyne

Employment Law Senior Associate Solicitor

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Claire Brook

Employment Law Partner

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