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EHRC release new legal guidance on menopause in the workplace

New legal guidance on menopause
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

Women could be allowed to work from home or wear cooler clothes, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has suggested to employers in its new guidance on menopause in the workplace

This sets out employers’ legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010, warning that, if menopause symptoms have a long-term and substantial impact on a woman’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, these symptoms could be considered a disability.

In that case, an employer will be under a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments. They will also be under a legal obligation to not directly or indirectly discriminate because of the disability or subject the woman to discrimination arising from disability.

Additionally, workers experiencing menopause symptoms may be protected from less favourable treatment related to their menopause symptoms on the grounds of age and sex.

How do I support someone going through menopause?

Introducing Menopause in the Workplace: Guidance for Employers, which can be found on the EHRC website, EHRC Chair, Baroness Kishwer Falkner, said that employers may not fully understand their responsibility to protect their staff going through the menopause.

“We hope that this guidance helps ensure every woman going through the menopause is treated fairly and can work in a supportive and safe environment,” she concluded.

The EHRC is urging employers to carefully consider the new guidance and to adapt their policies and practices accordingly, to ensure fairness and inclusivity in the workplace. They should encourage a culture where workers feel able to talk about their symptoms and ask for adjustments to their work.

The EHRC is currently supporting, at an employment tribunal in Leicester, what it describes as an important hearing on alleged menopause discrimination.

Visit BrAInbox today where you can find answers to questions like Do I need a menopause policy?

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