The government has published its response to the Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) 2022 report on menopause and the workplace. The WEC report had provided 12 menopause-related recommendations, but the government has now rejected five of those recommendations, accepted one and accepted in part (or in principle) six. Not all the WEC’s recommendations relate to the workplace, but of those that do, the government has:

  • accepted the recommendation that it should bring forward legislation before the end of the current Parliament to make the right to request flexible working a day one right for all employees
  • accepted in part (or in principle) the recommendations that it should: lead on disseminating good quality and accurate information about menopause (work is already planned and underway to address this); appoint a Menopause Ambassador to work with stakeholders from business, unions and advisory groups to encourage and disseminate awareness, good practice and guidance to employers (a Menopause Employment Champion is to be appointed); and publish guidance for employers on the legal considerations when supporting employees experiencing menopause (guidance is being developed by the Health and Safety Executive which will give a set of clear and simple principles that employers would be expected to apply to support disabled people and those with long-term health conditions in the work environment, and the guidance could also apply where workers are experiencing symptoms such as those that occur in the menopause)
  • rejected the recommendations that it should: launch a consultation on how to amend the Equality Act 2010 to introduce a new protected characteristic of menopause; immediately commence the dual discrimination provision in s.14 of the Equality Act 2010; produce model menopause policies to assist employers; and work with a large public sector employer to develop and pilot a specific “menopause leave” policy.

The government’s response on the Equality Act 2010 recommendations is unsurprising given that it had already previously confirmed that it had no plans to make menopause a protected characteristic or to implement the dual discrimination provision.

Source: New feed