Acas has published guidance to help employers and managers support staff who are affected by menopause symptoms at work.
It highlights that managing the effects of the menopause at work is important for both employers and their staff.
For those experiencing symptoms it can be a difficult and stressful time. Everyone will experience the menopause differently and for some, symptoms can be quite severe and can affect people both physically and mentally.
The menopause is a natural stage of life which affects most women and other people who have a menstrual cycle.
It is estimated that around two million women aged over 50 experience difficulties at work due to their menopause symptoms. One in 20 women could also go through an early menopause.
The guidance from Acas aims to help employers understand menopause symptoms and give employees the necessary tools to feel confident in approaching employers if they are suffering from symptoms.
The guidance includes these top tips on best practice:
- create and implement a menopause policy
- provide awareness training for managers to deal with any concerns in a sensitive way
- create an open and trusted culture within the team
- make changes where possible such as altering working hours
- implement low-cost environmental changes such as providing desk fans
- be aware of employment laws that can relate to menopause issues at work such as the risks of sex, disability or age discrimination
ASCL advises that employers should review the guidance and make any necessary changes to their policies and procedures to ensure that they are compliant, taking particular care around potential discrimination as detailed above. The guidance
states: "A worker's menopause or perimenopause could potentially be regarded as a disability by an employment tribunal
This will also need to be considered when dealing with sickness absence for menopausal or perimenopausal symptoms.
Employers should also signpost to staff where this information can be accessed and it should be made readily available.
The full Acas guidance can be accessed here
Any ASCL members who may be suffering from menopausal or perimenopausal symptoms who feel that their employer is not supporting them in line with this guidance should contact the ASCL Hotline