Treating women as equal to men does not mean treating the two sexes the same. Women are different biologically and this should be taken into account in the workplace. Employers should be taking steps to adapt the workplace as required, and to proactively introduce relevant policies and support for employees to access when it is required.

What is the menopause?

Menopause is understood as the time during a person’s life when menstruation (periods) permanently stops. Officially, it is defined as occurring when there have been no periods for 12 consecutive months and no other biological or physiological cause can be identified. This can cause a chain reaction of physical and psychological side effects to the female (and those assigned female at birth) body, some of which can last for a number of years.

Changing hormone levels can cause issues months or even years before the menopause; this is known as the perimenopause.

Most people go through menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but it can happen at any point between 30 and 60 years of age. Symptoms last around four years on average, although one in 10 can experience them for up to 12 years.

Menopause and trans employees

It is important to note that while we predominantly talk about women in relation to the menopause, the condition could be experienced by anyone who was assigned female at birth, regardless of how they currently present themselves.

All employees, regardless of the gender they present as, including non-binary individuals, require the same support, flexibility and dignity in the workplace as any other employee.

Last reviewed 12 October 2023