The menopause can have a big impact on the daily lives of employees and, in turn, have a negative impact on their performance and attendance at work. Some symptoms may last for several years and can include anxiety, reduced concentration, sleep disturbance, hot flushes and heavy periods – all of which can be both physically and emotionally distressing. The psychological effects can also impact relationships in the workplace. For some, symptoms are so severe that they need to take time off or leave their job altogether, but feel unable to disclose their reasons for absence to their managers.

Organisations should treat the menopause as they would any other health issue, not only to break the stigma and taboo surrounding the menopause at work, but to create an inclusive environment where employees and managers feel able to discuss any reasonable adjustments that may be needed.

This guide is designed to support any employer wanting to develop a supportive framework for employees experiencing the menopause. We hope it will be a useful professional resource for HR and occupational health teams in particular. Please note that we are not providing legal or medical advice, but practical guidance – employers may also need to obtain their own specialist advice on the approach to take in any individual case.

While this guidance is aimed primarily at people professionals, we have also published accompanying guidance on the menopause for people managers, including practical tips for supporting employees.

The menopause and work

What is the menopause?

Create an open, inclusive and supportive culture

Develop a framework to manage the menopause

Manage health and sickness absence

Promote good people management

References and further reading


Resources to download

Use these downloadable resources to help develop a supportive framework for employees experiencing the menopause

Dos and don'ts for supporting a colleague

Dos and don'ts for supporting a colleague
PDF document 240.3 KB

Leaflet with surprising facts about the menopause

Menopause leaflet
PDF document 463.2 KB

The CIPD's calls to the UK Government to support the development of menopause-friendly workplaces

CIPD menopause manifesto
PDF document 713.8 KB

Let's talk menopause poster: facts about the menopause

Menopause poster
PDF document 163.3 KB

More on this topic

Discussing challenges faced by women in the workplace

Watch our CIPD South East Region webinar discussing the challenges faced by women in the workplace

Let's talk menopause

Watch our webinar to unpack how you can best support colleagues managing menopausal symptoms

Thought leadership
Time to step up workplace support for the menopause

Rachel Suff’s article gives us an update of the CIPD’s latest work on the menopause

Managing menopause at work: Guide for people managers

Guidance for managers on how to support employees through the menopause

See our Menopause hub

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