Menopause and the Workplace (24th January 2023)
MENOPAUSE & THE WORKPLACE: Government Response to Committee’s First Report of Session 2022–2023 (published 24 January 2023)
The Government has printed this response to the recommendations put forward by the Women and Equalities Committee’s report entitled Menopause and the workplace: Government Response to the Committee’s First Report of Session 2022–2023
Of the 12 recommendations made in the report, the government has accepted/partially accepted 7 and rejected 5.
Chapter Two of the report covers ‘Menopause in the workplace’ and contains 6 proposals
Of those recommendations accepted include:
Recommendation 6: appointing a Menopause Employment Champion to drive forward work with employers on menopause workplace issues and to spearhead the proposed collaborative employer-led campaign as outlined in the independent report.
Recommendation 9: Making flexible working a ‘day one’ right and removing the 26 week service; the government is supporting the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill, currently going through Parliament, which would deliver these changes.
Recommendation 10: Strengthened guidance that will give a set of clear and simple ‘principles’ that employers would be expected to apply, to support disabled people and those with long term health conditions in the work environment. The guidance could also apply where workers are experiencing symptoms such as those that occur in the menopause. It will be published by the Health and Safety Executive in Autumn 2022.
Of those recommendations not accepted include:
Recommendation 11: introducing so called ‘dual discrimination’ i.e., allowing claims to be brought on combined grounds of sex and age.
Recommendation 12: making menopause a protected characteristic itself under the discrimination laws.
The report only covers the approach and actions in England. It notes that health is a devolved matter, administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will determine their own policies and approach to menopause.
It will be interesting to see the direction of the devolved nations following the report.