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Guidance on reasonable adjustments for menopause

View profile for Tessa Robinson
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The Equality and Human Rights Commission have, last week, published guidance for employers on menopause and the Equality Act. The aim is to clarify the legal obligations of employers and to foster positive conversations about the menopause with their workers.

If the symptoms of menopause have a long term and substantial impact on a woman’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, they may be considered a disability under the Equality Act 2010. The guidance suggests that the following may be among reasonable adjustments that should be considered by employers:

  • consider providing rest areas or quiet rooms;
  • providing cooling systems or fans for those experiencing hot flushes;
  • relaxing uniform policies or allowing the wearing of cooler clothing;
  • promoting flexibility
    • allowing working from home where possible
    • changing shift patterns such as by amending start and finish times (particularly on warmer days or when the worker has had a poor night’s sleep).

Failing to make reasonable adjustments may lead to discrimination claims and therefore all policies should be considered in light of the employer’s legal obligations to ensure they don’t adversely impact employees with menopause. Not everyone experiencing menopause will have a disability, however by taking positive steps to support those going through the menopause, your workforce will feel supported rather than isolated.