Menopause employment law guide: are you entitled to menopause leave & what are the workplace policies?

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fairly difficult
Menopause law in the workplace: a guide to menopause leave, menopause workplace policies, menopause absence from work and more.
A guide to menopause employment law: menopause leave, existing menopause workplace policies and more Progress has been made in recent years, but there's more to be done

Menopause can be seriously taxing both physically and mentally. To that end, it can have a significant impact on performance in the workplace, while studies have shown that 900,000 women in the UK felt that had no choice but to quit their jobs because of it.

SEE: 36 symptoms of menopause and how to treat them – expert advice

HELLO! have joined forces with charity Wellbeing of Women to call on employers to sign the Menopause Workplace Pledge, which encourages companies to support employees while going through the menopause, but what are our legal rights around the condition in the workplace as it stands? Is there such thing as menopause leave? And what, if any, are the existing legal workplace menopause policies? We caught up with Neha Thethi, head of employment at Lime Solicitors to find out more.

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Is menopause leave a right of employees?

Sadly not right now. Neha explains: "'Menopause leave' is not an automatic right for employees, in the same way as sick leave. This is because the menopause and perimenopause are not specifically protected under the Equality Act 2010. However, it is important to note that there are certain pieces of legislation to protect employees. For example, if a worker is treated unfairly because of the menopause or perimenopause, this could amount to discrimination because of their sex; a disability; and/or their age."

RELATED: Penny Lancaster discusses 'horrific' menopause symptoms in candid interview

Here are some examples of situations in the workplace that might apply to each act.

Sex discrimination

"Unfair treatment of a worker because of their sex could lead to a sex discrimination claim, for example if an employer treats a woman's menopause or perimenopause symptoms less…
Bridie Wilkins
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