The World of Work by Harry Sherrard

Menopause leave trial rejected by Government

Has the Government missed an opportunity to support both the employer and employee by rejecting the proposal to introduce menopause leave?

What signal has been sent to women in the workplace?  

Every woman goes through the menopause to different degrees.  1 in 4 have no symptoms, 2 in 4 have symptoms (but not debilitating) while 1 in 4 do experience debilitating symptoms.

The Government appears to be concerned about positive discrimination in favour of women which would have a potentially negative effect on the male workforce.

The workplace today has more women aged over 50 than ever before.  These are women who need to be recognised for the contribution they make to their organisations and not be treated differently because they are suffering from a natural process. 

In a survey of 4,000 women for the Channel 4 documentary hosted by Davina McCall – Sex, Mind and the Menopause, it was found that 1 in 10 had quit their jobs because of menopause symptoms – either mental or physical – while 14% had reduced their working hours.

Thankfully, there are many progressive employers out there, recognising the contribution of women and are now working with their employees to implement better working practices.

The Government has stated that it will appoint a ‘menopause employment champion’ to drive forward work with employers on menopause workplace issues and to spearhead an employer-led, Government-backed, communications campaign on menopause in the workplace.

In July 2022 the Women and Equalities Committee, who hold the Government to account on equality law and policy recommended that the Government should introduce a proposal to introduce menopause leave and to make menopause a protected characteristic under the Equality Act. However, ministers have rejected all of the committee’s proposals including the proposal for the introduction of menopause leave.

What can you do in your organisation?

  • Put equality, diversity, inclusion and colleagues’ wellbeing as a priority will demonstrate your dedication to making your organisation a great place to work.
  • Include training on the menopause for your managers, so they have greater awareness of the topic as a real occupational health issue.
  • Introduce a menopause policy within your organisation.
  • Encourage a culture where women feel comfortable about discussing their symptoms and the impact that it has on their working lives.
  • Look at the options around flexible working hours and working arrangements to help women manage their symptoms.
  • Improved access to HR and other support systems.
  • Look at improvements in the working environment, in particular temperature and ventilation.

Our sister business, Sherrards Occupational Health partners with Medwyn Occupational Health to deliver training on the menopause and can provide ongoing support to your organisation to enable you to become a Menopause Friendly Workplace.

I am currently training to become licenced by Menopause Experts Group (MEG) and will shortly be able to deliver bespoke in-house training to clients on this important topic.

We also have two FREE upcoming breakfast seminars covering Menopause in the Workplace. The sessions will be presented by two of Medwyn Occupational Health’s doctors – Dr Stewart Tomlinson, Medical Director at Medwyn Occupational Health and Dr Louise Tomei. I will be taking you though some of the HR areas that you should consider as a menopause friendly employer and Harry Sherrard will cover all legal aspects related to the topic.

Sussex: Thursday 23rd February 2023 – 09:00 – 11:30 at Mannings Heath Golf Club, Horsham

Surrey: Thursday 30th March 2023 – 09:00 – 11:30 in The Education Suite, Medwyn Occupational Health, Dorking

Please note, each seminar will cover exactly the same content, we are simply running the seminars at two different venues.

To find out more and book your place please send an email to We look forward to receiving your bookings and to seeing you at one of the seminars.

If you would like further information on any of the topics detailed in this blog please email or call the office on 01273 834120 to talk to a member of our team.

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