The Women and Equalities Committee has today (Friday 23rd July) launched a new inquiry scrutinising existing legislation and workplace practices regarding menopause and the workplace.

The MPs on the cross-party Women and Equalities Committee are seeking to understand whether current legislation goes far enough to support people experiencing menopause at work.

According to the data, almost a million women in the UK have left jobs as a result of menopausal symptoms.

This, the Committee has argued, leaves women who are eligible for senior management positions leaving the workplace at the peak of their career.

This has a negative impact on workplace productivity, the gender pay-gap and the gender pension gap, the Committee states.

As such, it has asked for a range of written submissions on questions in order to help form their findings. This included questions such as:

  • What is the nature and the extent of discrimination faced by women experiencing the menopause?
  • How does this impact wider society?

  • What is the economic impact of menopause discrimination?

  • How can businesses factor in the needs of employees going through the menopause?

  • How can practices addressing workplace discrimination relating to menopause be implemented? For example, through guidance, advice, adjustments, or enforcement.

The questions asked also included discussion surrounding how people who experience the menopause but do not identify as women can be supported.

Previous research conducted by the CIPD on this area suggested that initiating discussions about the menopause, undertaking risk assessments and making adjustments as necessary and having catch-up sessions with staff were all integral steps to offer more support to people experiencing menopause at work.

Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP, said:

Three in every five women are negatively affected at work as a result of the menopause. The repercussions of that are not merely individual. Excluding menopausal women from the workplace is detrimental to our economy, our society and our place on the world stage.

Despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of women in the UK are currently going through the menopause- a process that can be both physically and mentally draining- it is ignored in legislation. It is time to uncover and address this huge issue, which has been left near-invisible for far too long.