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21 April, 2024

Employers face legal action if menopausal women's needs ignored

New guidance by equality watchdog urges employers to make ''reasonable adjustments,'' including flexible working and uniform policies, to support menopausal employees


In a bid to address workplace challenges faced by menopausal women, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has issued guidance asserting that employers may face legal consequences if they fail to make "reasonable adjustments."

According to a report on Sky News, the guidance encourages employers to consider factors like room temperature, ventilation, and rest areas for women experiencing symptoms such as hot flushes. Flexible working options, including remote work, and variable start and finish times are recommended.  The EHRC also suggests relaxing uniform policies and providing fans.

Research indicates that one in 10 women who worked during menopause left their jobs due to symptoms, with two-thirds reporting a negative impact on their work. Failure to make reasonable adjustments could lead to liability for disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. The guidance warns against disciplinary actions due to menopause-related absences and emphasizes the potential for harassment or discrimination based on language and uniform policies.

Mims Davies, government minister for disabled people, health, and work, lauded the guidance as crucial for women's progress in the workforce. EHRC chairwoman Baroness Kishwer Falkner hopes the guidance ensures fair treatment for menopausal women in supportive and safe work environments.

[Source: Sky News]


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