The Government will not introduce legislation to make the menopause a protected characteristic
The Government has published its response to the Women and Equalities Committee’s report ‘Menopause and the Workplace, confirming that it will appoint a ‘menopause employment champion’, who will drive forward work with employers on menopause workplace issues. However, the Government does not intend to consult on making menopause a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.
The ‘menopause ambassador’ will work with stakeholders from business, unions and advisory groups to encourage and disseminate awareness, good practice and menopause guidance to employers.
However, the Government has not accepted the Committee’s recommendation to produce model menopause policies. It does not believe a model menopause policy is necessary at this moment and has referred to other steps being taken by employers and organisations, including Acas, to develop workplace policies and guidance. The Government agrees that it is important that women who suffer substantial and longer-term menopausal effects should be adequately protected from discrimination in the workplace. However, there will be no new legislation, and in particular it will not introduced the menopause as a protected characteristic, to protect women experiencing discrimination related to the effects of the menopause.
If you feel that this subject requires discussion in your business, contact 121 HR Solutions for more information on 0800 9995 121.