Experts warn that menopausal workers face discrimination and stigmatization by their bosses. They need to be supported more by their managers.

  • UK Survey finds that working menopausal females are stigmatized about their condition.
  • A majority of women felt that the office had not taken any measures to support them.
  • A report earlier stated that 1 million post-menopausal women might be forced from their jobs 

Experts have advised MPs that the environment must allow for fair adjustment by employers to women who are going through menopause.

Yesterday, the Women and Equalities Committee heard that menopausal women working face ignorance and stigma about their condition.

Lawyers stated that menopause should not be considered a disability but a protected characteristic under employment law.

Two days ago, research showed that more than 1 million UK women could lose their jobs due to a dearth of support from employers during menopause. The inquiry by the committee into the menopause and workplace received evidence.

Nearly three-quarters of all women polled said that their workplace didn’t have any type of policy in place to make life easier. 

According to lawyers, employees should be able to access occupational health services directly from their employers rather than through their employer.

Menopausal women who work face stigma and ignorance about the condition, the women and equalities committee heard yesterday. (file photo )

Yesterday, the Women and Equalities Committee heard that menopausal women working face prejudice and ignorance regarding their condition. (file photo )

The respondents stated that employers can do more to enforce existing legislation, but they need to provide clearer guidance.

Adam Pavey from Pannone Corporate was the director of HR and employment. He told the committee, “This knowledge exercise must be applicable to both men AND women.” Menopause can be more than just having hot flushes from time-to-time.

If an employee does not feel they have the right to understand, then there are no chances of them overcoming their difficulties.

“Organisations must have policies regarding the menopause. However, it should be accompanied by training and understanding. 

Employers are not required to create a policy regarding menopause or its symptoms by any current legislation.

Almost two-thirds of UK women surveyed said their workplace had not introduced any kind of policy to make things easier for them. (file photo)

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of UK women polled said that their workplace did not have any policy in place to help them. (file photo)

Menopause is not a protected characteristic under the law – unlike race, religion or age – with employees often forced to claim disability discrimination instead.

Colin Davidson of the Discrimination Law Association stated that both employees and employers would be benefited by change. He added that employees do not think they will hear from a sympathetic ear. 

“You must sue for disability to obtain minor changes in your workplace.”

Marian Bloodworth is the chairman of the Employment Lawyers Association.

Heather Currie, who was once the British Menopause Society’s head, recommended last month that all workplaces have a menopause champion to support them.