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Talking about …the menopause and work

Posted on 14 October 2022

October marks World Menopause Month. The purpose of World Menopause Month is to raise awareness of the menopause and options to improve the health and wellbeing of women in mid-life and beyond.

World Menopause Month culminates each year on 18th October. The theme this year is cognition and well being.

As part of this celebration, we recently presented a training session to our colleagues on issues relating to "Menopause at Work". For whatever reason, we'd not discussed this topic collectively as a team before. However, with the increased media attention that this topic is now (rightly) getting, we felt that we needed to "get the conversation going".

People of menopausal age represent the fastest growing sector of the UK labour force. As employment lawyers, we need to be alive to the issues faced by this "demographic". It is only once we are armed with this insight, that we can confidently advise employers on how to fairly and sensitively manage staff experiencing issues connected to the menopause.

Perhaps more significantly though, according to a recent survey carried out by Newson Health Research and Education, 60% of the survey's respondents said that their workplace currently offered no menopause support. If this lack of support continues, then employers risk losing valuable talent.

It is fair to say our discussion was open, engaging, and thought-provoking. So much so, that we have decided to put together a series of short articles on the subject, so we can continue the discussion and play our part in raising awareness of the menopause. Over the next four weeks, we will be publishing weekly articles which (amongst other things) will talk about matters such as; what we mean by the menopause; the issues faced by menopausal staff and what rights they have; how unfair treatment connected to the menopause can be challenged; key cases coming out of the tribunals where the menopause has been discussed; things that employers should do to manage menopause-related issues at work; as well as discussing what is happening at parliamentary level to develop the rights of menopausal people and awareness of the issues faced by this demographic.

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