Hot under the collar…

World Menopause Day took place on 18th October and workplace expert ACAS have published new guidance to help employers and managers support staff who are affected by menopause symptoms at work.

As well as guidance for employers, there are also tips for workers on how to raise any concerns.
Key points include:

  • Create and implement a menopause policy;
  • Provide awareness training for managers to deal with any concerns in a sensitive way;
  • Create an open and trusted culture within the team;
  • Make changes where possible such as altering working hours;
  • Implement low-cost environmental changes such as providing desk fans;
  • Awareness of employment laws that can relate to menopause issues at work such as the risks of sex, disability or age discrimination.

The first successful employment tribunal concerning menopause was in 2012. In the case of Merchant v BT plc the employee alleged that she had been discriminated against on the grounds of her gender when her employer failed to deal with her menopause symptoms in the same way that it would have dealt with other medical conditions.

The employment tribunal held this discriminatory and unfair. It said that a man suffering from ill health with comparable symptoms from a medical condition (in this particular case, affecting concentration) and with performance issues would not have been treated in the same way. This was also directly against the employer’s own policy.

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