Menopause in the Workplace

New guidance issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) states that if a woman experiencing menopausal symptoms has a substantial or long-term impact on their ability to work, they may be classed as having a disability and have their rights protected under the Equality Act 2010.

This means employers must make reasonable adjustments accordingly and offers a legal obligation that women should not be discriminated against on account of their symptoms. As 10% of women feel discriminated against because of their symptoms, the change has caused a significant impact on women in work.[1]

Those experiencing menopausal symptoms find their ability to work greatly conflicted. 67% report that symptoms have had a negative impact on work, with 79% less able to concentrate, 68% experiencing more stress, and 46% feeling less able to physically carry out work tasks.[2]

Not making reasonable adjustments as an employer can have a substantial impact, with one in ten women leaving their workplace during the menopause due to their symptoms,[3] and 53% citing the need for sick days to cope.[2]

How can employers offer more supportive workplace environments for those living with menopausal symptoms? 

Flexible working

67% of women feel that offering home, hybrid and flexible hours would support the management of symptoms better.[3]

Temperature control

Issues with temperature are highly reported as a symptom, so the ability to adjust office temperature may help benefit the team.

Flexible office clothing policy

Over-heating is a frequent symptom, as is sweating, so allowing flexible clothing policies ensures employees can wear comfortable clothes adjustable to their body temperature.

Offer staff training, particularly for line managers

Ensures staff are aware of changes needed in the workplace and how to support their colleagues' experiencing symptoms.

Workplace risk assessments for menopausal women

Allows adequate space for offices to be reviewed to ensure they are best serving menopausal employees and are not worsening symptoms.

Offer quiet rooms for office workers

To aide those experiencing stress or difficulty with colleague interactions by utilising a quiet area, as 49% of menopausal women report feeling less patient with colleagues.[2]

Offer easy access toilet and shower facilities

Allows employees swift access to freshen up and use bathroom facilities as needed.

Nurture a culture of work-life balance to manage stress

Target the symptoms of stress in the workplace by encouraging staff to maintain healthy boundaries between work and their personal life.

This article was provided by our sister company Towergate Health & Protection. If your workplace would benefit from further advice, please speak to your usual Towergate representative who can put you in touch with our colleagues at Towergate Health & Protection.


[1]Menopause in the workplace | CIPD

[2] Menopause in the workplace: Guidance for employers | EHRC (

[3]Menopause and the Workplace (