Menopause and the Workplace: A future protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010?

11 October 2022

A joint BUPA/CIPD survey in 2019 found that 60% of menopausal women were negatively affected at work and that many left their jobs due to suffering menopausal symptoms.
Under the Equality Act 2010, menopause discrimination is potentially covered by three existing protected characteristics: age, sex and disability.

An independent report into menopause and employment was commissioned by the Government and published at the end of 2021. The report recommended that the Government enact s.14 of the Equality Act 2010, the dual discrimination provision not currently in force. 

A separate enquiry conducted by the Women and Equalities Parliamentary Committee has now recommended in their First Report of session 2022-2023, Menopause and the Workplace, that Section 14 of the Equality Act 2010 should be enacted immediately, and that the menopause should be designated a protected characteristic in and of itself (subject to further consultation). 

To date, the Government has indicated that it does not intend to take either of these steps and it remains to be seen whether these recommendations will be adopted. 


Daniel Hobbs

Call 1998

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