Government rejects menopause leave pilots

A proposal to bring in ‘menopause leave’ pilot trials in England has been rejected by the Government.

The proposal had been made by the Women and Equalities Committee to assist employees experiencing the significant changes to their lifestyle brought about by menopause.

Another outline proposal to make menopause a protected characteristic was also rejected by ministers, which would have brought the condition in line with pregnancy and disability.

The suggestions had originally been made by the Committee to end, what they suggested was a culture that forced women out of work by insensitive and rigid sickness policies.

However, the Government rejected the proposals outright. Ministers pointed out that the proposals could lead to ‘unintended consequences’ in relation to the equal treatment of men suffering from long-term health issues at work.

Whilst the proposals for formal legislation was rejected, the Government outlined its commitment that accepted “in principle” the Committee’s recommendations to launch a public health campaign around menopause and to appoint a menopause ambassador to monitor progress made by businesses in this area.

If you are experiencing issues related to menopause in your workplace and would like advice on how to handle matters sensitively and within existing employment laws, please speak to us.

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