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Menopause: What the latest CIPD survey shows

A recent CIPD/YouGov survey of 2,100 working women aged between 40 and 60 revealed that 27% who have experienced menopausal symptoms said the condition has had a negative impact on their career. Almost 80% stated they feel less able to concentrate whilst the work and just under 70% experience an increase in stress. Over half of respondents, however, who felt supported by the employer whilst experiencing symptoms of menopause, reported feeling less pressure at work and less stress.

These findings highlight both the progress that has been made in the last couple of years regarding awareness and understanding of menopause issues in the workplace, as well as the need for further action. It is encouraging to see that employees who are supported by their employer when experiencing menopausal symptoms, report lower levels of pressure and stress. This demonstrates the positive impact that supportive policies and adjustments can have on employees' ability to manage their symptoms and continue their careers effectively.

However, it is concerning to note that a significant number of women still experience negative impacts on their careers due to menopausal symptoms. The recent case involving Direct Line, where a former employee was awarded almost £65,000 after the company failed to make reasonable adjustments when her role was affected by menopause symptoms, is a stark reminder that discrimination and inadequate support for menopause-related issues still occur in the workplace. This case highlights the importance for employers to make reasonable adjustments and provide support to employees experiencing menopause symptoms to ensure a fair and inclusive working environment.

The case of Maxine Lynskey demonstrates the consequences of neglecting to address the impact of menopause on employees. Lynskey's experience of struggling to meet performance standards due to menopause symptoms, and the subsequent failure of Direct Line to make reasonable adjustments, resulted in her resigning and bringing legal claims. This case serves as a reminder that employers must proactively address menopause-related challenges and provide the necessary support and accommodations for their employees.

To tackle these issues, employers should foster open and inclusive cultures that encourage discussions around menopause. Providing frameworks of support backed by policies or guidance will help employees feel valued and understood. It is also important to ensure that line managers are trained and equipped to have open and honest conversations about menopause, offering flexible working arrangements and other reasonable adjustments when needed.

Retaining this cohort of workers is not only fair and ethical, but it also makes good business sense. Employers who create supportive environments for employees experiencing menopausal symptoms will benefit from a more engaged and productive workforce. It is time for all employers to step up and prioritize the wellbeing and career progression of women going through menopause."

How we can help

Irwin Mitchell’s Employers’ guide to menopause, including free menopause policy template, can downloaded from Irwin Mitchell's website.

Irwin Mitchell also offers a range of back-to-basics training packages for businesses including a bespoke course on menopause which covers a range of issues including why menopause is a relevant issue for businesses; how employee’s performance and wellbeing may be impacted unless steps are taken to support from an employer’s perspective; and how managers can approach discussions with employees on this issue. Further information is available here.


Two thirds of women with experience of menopausal symptoms say they have had a mostly negative impact on them at work, new research finds.

In the study of 2,185 women in employment aged 40-60, carried out by the CIPD in conjunction with YouGov, a quarter of women in this age category who have experienced menopausal symptoms said the condition has had a negative impact on their career progression – an estimated 1.2 million people.

This percentage rises for women with a disability or long-term health problem – 36 per cent said menopause has had a negative impact on their career progression – and women who identify as having an ethnic minority background.

A majority of women who experience menopausal symptoms also feel less able to concentrate at work and experience an increased amount of stress.”