The UK government has largely rejected recommendations to reform the existing legal framework for employees experiencing menopause, instead promoting employer-led education and support. In this article, we review the government’s response to the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee’s (the “WEC”) July 2022 report, “Menopause and the workplace” (the “WEC Report”), and consider what it means for employers.
The WEC Report considered the ways in which menopause affects women* in work and, in its own words, “wanted to understand what drove women to leave their jobs, the impact on the economy of haemorrhaging talent in this way, and the legal redress for women who have suffered menopause-related discrimination.” It made a number of recommendations to address the needs of menopausal employees and drive change, ranging from the publication of guidance and the appointment of a Menopause Ambassador, to larger scale reform of the legal framework.
The government has now confirmed that it will not be adopting the majority of the recommendations. The Chair of the WEC has voiced their disappointment and concern with the response, deeming it a “missed opportunity”.
The Report’s main recommendations and the government’s responses relevant to employers and the workplace are summarised below.