The menopause can have a big impact on the daily lives of employees and, in turn, 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. 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.

Please note
While we predominantly talk about women in relation to the menopause in this guidance, we also recognise that it can impact some transgender and non-binary people who will require support and flexibility relevant to their needs.

The menopause and work

What is the menopause?

Create an open, inclusive and supportive culture

Develop a framework to support people

Manage health and sickness absence

Promote good people management

References and further reading

Acknowledgements

Resources to download

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

Let's talk menopause poster: facts about the menopause

Menopause poster
PDF document 349.4 KB

Leaflet with surprising facts about the menopause

Menopause leaflet
PDF document 605.3 KB

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

CIPD menopause manifesto
PDF document 2 MB

More on this topic

Webinars
Creating menopause supportive workplaces

Explore how to create a menopause friendly work environment and empower employees to continue to work and thrive whilst experiencing menopause transition

Guides
Menopause at work: Guide for people managers

Guidance for managers on how to support employees through the menopause

Reports
Menopause in the workplace

This report explores employees’ experiences of menopause at work and examines the type of adjustment and support that can be most helpful

Webinars
Discussing challenges faced by women in the workplace

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

See our Menopause hub

Latest guides

Guides
Neuroinclusion at work

This guide is for people professionals and leaders across functions who want to learn more about neurodiversity, the benefits of having a neuroinclusive and fair organisation, and how they can support neurodivergent people to be comfortable, confident and successful at work

Guides
How to plan and support effective hybrid working

Advice on how organisations can manage hybrid working arrangements

Guides
People manager guide: Supporting hybrid working

Advice for line managers on supporting and enabling hybrid working

Guides
Ethics at work: An employer’s guide

Red flags, practical resources and action points for employers looking to foster ethical values in their organisations

All guides