Menopause matters – new ACAS guidance for employers
Friday 18th October is World Menopause Day, and in line with that, ACAS has published guidance to assist employers support employees affected by menopause symptoms at work.
Although menopause is a natural stage of life for women, it can be a sensitive issue and often taboo in the workplace. Considering it affects 50% of the population and in light of an ageing workforce, it is an issue that needs to be addressed.
As it is such a personal matter, many women may feel embarrassed to inform employers of symptoms that are having a detrimental impact on their work. There may also be concerns that they will not be taken seriously or their prospects of career progression will be diminished. The aim of the ACAS guidance is to ensure that employers have a greater understanding of the impact menopause can have on some women, and to create an inclusive culture where women feel confident speaking openly.
The ACAS guide also aims to educate employers on how to avoid potential claims of sex, disability and age discrimination, which may be brought by women who feel they are being treated unfairly as a result of their menopause or perimenopause symptoms. For example, managing absence from work in a sympathetic manner or making reasonable adjustments to ensure a comfortable working environment.
The principal recommendations of the ACAS guidance include the implementation of a menopause policy, providing awareness training for managers to ensure concerns are dealt with in a sensitive manner, offering flexible working hours and ensuring that employees do not feel concerned about starting a conversation on the topic.
A link to the full ACAS advice and guidance can be found by clicking here