Thursday 29th February 2024

Harriet, a Partner in the Employment Team, contributed to an article entitled “Charities urged to support menopausal employees following EHRC guidance”.

It follows guidance published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission outlining employers’ legal obligations in supporting workers experiencing symptoms of menopause.

Harriet told Civil Society that following the guidance could help charities retain employees at a time when the sector deals with workforce challenges.

“The new guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission is a helpful reminder of the legal position, that woman experiencing menopause and perimenopause may be protected from discrimination on the grounds of age, sex and/or disability under the Equality Act 2010,” explained Harriet.

“For employers in the charity sector, the guidance comes at a moment when awareness and understanding of symptoms is improving and staff are more confident in speaking about their personal experiences and seeking support from their employer.

“The guidance provides practical examples and encourages initiatives aimed at promoting a more open workplace culture. As the charity sector deals with workforce challenges, following this guidance can help charities to retain valued employees.”

The EHRC cited research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development underpinning the guidance that found that two-thirds of working women aged between 40 and 60 experience menopausal symptoms at work.

If menopause symptoms impact a woman’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, then these symptoms can be considered a disability, a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.

Where this is the case, employers are required to make reasonable adjustments on this basis with the EHRC’s guidance providing practical steps on what this can constitute.

Read the full Civil Society article here.