New Guidance on Managing ‘Menopause’ in the Workplace

By Helen Burrowes

Senior HR Consultant

In February 2024, new guidance was published on how to support menopause within the workplace.  The guidance includes options to support employees to mitigate the impacts suffered by menopause symptoms, with practical tips to assist employers when making reasonable adjustments.

The guidance identifies the legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010.  Whilst menopause is not currently protected under this Act, employers should be aware that the long term effects of menopause symptoms may be classed as a disability e.g. depression, and therefore they have an obligation to make reasonable adjustments.  This Act also protects employees from less favourable treatment and discrimination linked with their age and sex.

It is reported (People Management) that 67 per cent of women aged between 40-60 experience negativity at work due to their symptoms whilst going through the menopause.  Symptoms may include hot flushes, low mood, anxiety and loss of self confidence.  In some instances, females experiencing these symptoms have left the business.  Loss of key employees has an impact on the business’ productivity and therefore vital that the employer recognises the support that they can provide to ensure retention of their talent. 

Implementing the new guidance

In the first instance, employers should read through the new guidance to start to understand their responsibilities. Measures under the guidance includes:

  • Providing rest areas and quiet rooms
  • Introducing cooling systems or fans for women experiencing hot flushes
  • Relaxing uniform policies
  • Providing cooler clothing
  • Promoting flexibility of location
  • Varying shift patterns

Employers should start to consider how the menopause guidance measures will be embedded into their business:

  • How can the workspace accommodate the guidance
  • What practices are in place that will be impacted e.g. requesting equipment
  • What policies are in place that will be impacted e.g. uniform, shift patterns
  • Communicate a Menopause policy

Engaging with employees to understand how the employer can support employees with menopause symptoms:

  • Set up a committee to understand the requirements
  • Include the mental health first aid representatives
  • Decide on how this will be communicated out into the workplace

Train line managers to understand how to pick up on symptoms and mental health associated with menopause.  Provide managers with resources to refer employees to e.g. Employee Assistance Programme, menopause policy, HR team or the internal support network e.g. mental health representatives.

To implement the new guidelines into your business, call the team of HR Consultants to discuss the options that can be provided.  We can design a programme to help you identify and implement your menopause strategy into the business, including a review of your current processes, facilitate a team workshop to identify and implement these changes, and provide a menopause policy for you to use in your workplace.

To discuss your requirement in more detail, reach out to Helen Burrowes, HR Consultant at Nockolds HR on 0345 6460406 or via email to