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Menopause and the workplace

Inquiry

A 2019 survey conducted by BUPA and the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that three in five menopausal women- usually aged between 45 and 55- were negatively affected at work and that almost 900,000 women in the U.K. left their jobs over an undefined period of time because of menopausal symptoms. This could mean that women are leaving businesses “at the peak of their experience” which will “impact productivity”. Women in this age group are likely to be eligible for senior management roles, and so their exit can lessen diversity at executive levels. It can also contribute to the gender pay-gap and feed into a disparity in pensions.

Under the Equality Act 2010, menopause discrimination is largely covered under three protected characteristics: age, sex and disability discrimination. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 provides for safe working, which extends to the working conditions when experiencing menopausal symptoms. There have been several calls made for further legislation to require employers to put in place a workplace menopause policy to protect women going through the menopause against discrimination whilst at work.

The Government Equalities Office 2019 ‘roadmap’ on gender equality commits the Government to conduct research into “what works to improve women’s reproductive health, across the life course” and “develop indicators relating to women’s health experience and impact on their work.” The Government has also recently sought views to help inform the development of a Women’s Health Strategy. This inquiry examines the extent of discrimination faced by menopausal people in the workplace, and investigates how Government policy and workplace practices can better support those experiencing menopause.

This inquiry is no longer accepting evidence

The deadline for submissions was Friday 17 September 2021.

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  • Email: womeqcom@parliament.uk
  • Phone: (General enquiries) 020 7219 5113 / (Media enquiries) 020 7219 1708
  • Address: Committee Office, House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, SW1A 0AA