Menopause discrimination: inquiry launched

2 mins

Posted on 27 Jul 2021

Menopause discrimination: inquiry launched

Menopause inquiry launched by the Women and Equalities Committee

The Women and Equalities Committee has launched an inquiry into menopause and the workplace. The Committee notes that almost a million women in the UK have left jobs as a result of menopausal symptoms. As the menopause mainly affects those in their late 40s and early 50s, this leads to women eligible for senior management roles leaving work at the peak of their career.  This has knock-on effects on workplace productivity and the gender pay and gender pension gap. We considered some of these issues in our Menopause in the Workplace webinar and our article Why is menopause a workplace issue?

The Committee also notes that there have been calls for legislation requiring employers to have a workplace menopause policy to protect women going through the menopause against discrimination at work.  

The inquiry will examine the extent of discrimination faced by menopausal people in the workplace, and investigate how Government policy and workplace practices can better support those experiencing menopause.

The Committee is seeking written submissions from both individuals and organisations on any or all of the following topics:

  • The nature and extent of discrimination faced by women experiencing the menopause
  • How this impacts wider society
  • The economic impact of menopause discrimination
  • How businesses can factor in the needs of menopausal employees
  • How practices addressing workplace discrimination relating to menopause can be implemented. For example, through guidance, advice, adjustments, or enforcement.
  • Examples of best or most inclusive practices
  • How people who experience the menopause but do not identify as women should be supported in the workplace
  • How well current legislation protects women from discrimination in the workplace associated with the menopause
  • Whether current legislation should be amended
  • What further legislation is required to enable employers to put in place a workplace menopause policy to protect people going through the menopause while at work
  • How effective Government action has been at addressing workplace menopause discrimination, and what more it can do to address this issue
  • How effectively the Government Equalities Office is working across Government to embed a strategic approach to addressing the impact of menopause in the workplace.

Submissions to the inquiry can be made until 17 September 2021. The Committee will then present its findings and recommendations with a view to shaping policies to address gender equality.

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