The House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee has released the Menopause and the Workplace survey results after conducting a survey from 16 September 2021 until 30 September 2021 which received 2161 responses. It was publicised through the website, on Twitter, and through internal and external stakeholder networks.
The results show that most women experience menopause symptoms, which also affect them negatively at work. Despite this, there is still considerable stigma about talking about menopause at work. Most women do not tell anyone at work or seek adjustments, out of concerns for privacy and worrying about the reaction of others.
Many workplaces do not have any policies relating to menopause and women do not always know how to seek support. Respondents want support from their employers, which includes practical measures such as making reasonable adjustments and providing for greater flexibility, as well as cultural changes like removing stigma, encouraging openness and education and awareness raising. There is some evidence that age, ethnicity and gender identity affect menopause symptoms and experiences, but more information is needed.
31% of respondents took time off work due to their menopause symptoms and fewer than 1 in 3 told anyone at work they were going through the menopause. Almost 90% did not request adjustments for their symptoms. Respondents referred to a number of practical adjustments that would help them. These included having fans at the desks, better ventilation, uniforms appropriate for menopause, for example made of breathable material, access to drinking water and easy access to toilets and to washing facilities.
This provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and the judgments made in every aspect of the case. Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.