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.
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
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 menopauseMenopause poster
Leaflet with surprising facts about the menopauseMenopause leaflet
The CIPD's calls to the UK Government to support the development of menopause-friendly workplacesCIPD menopause manifesto
Claire McCartney and Rachel Suff provide an overview of the CIPD’s continuing work on the menopause and discuss why it is important to keep this issue in the public eye
Explore how to create a menopause friendly work environment and empower employees to continue to work and thrive whilst experiencing menopause transition
Guidance for managers on how to support employees through the menopause
What this practice is, why you should avoid it, and how to approach it if no other options are available
Practical guidance to help employers create a carer-friendly workplace
Guidance and practical recommendations for supporting employees experiencing domestic abuse