RMT model Menopause Policy

RMT model Menopause Policy (download this document HERE)


This policy sets out the rights of employees experiencing menopausal symptoms and explains the support available to them.

We are committed to creating an open and supportive culture. We want all employees to feel comfortable speaking about how menopause-related symptoms may be affecting their work and able to ask for support to manage the symptoms.

This policy does not form part of your contract of employment.


This policy applies to anyone working for the [COMPANY]. This includes employees, workers, contractors, volunteers, interns and apprentices.

In this policy, where we refer to the menopause, we also mean the perimenopause (see below).

Symptoms of menopause

The menopause is a natural event during which a person stops having periods and experiences hormonal changes.

The menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 and typically lasts between four and eight years. Occasionally, menopausal symptoms can occasionally begin before the age of 40.

Perimenopause, or menopause transition, begins several years before menopause. An individual may start to experience menopausal symptoms during the final two years of perimenopause.

While menopausal symptoms vary greatly, they commonly include (this is not an exhaustive list):

•  Hot flushes
•  Dry skin and eyes
•  Night sweats
•  Mood disturbances
•  Irregular periods
•  Anxiety
•  Weight gain
•  Depression
•  Headaches
•  Poor concentration 
•  Dizziness
•  Loss of cognitive function
•  Fatigue
•  Loss of confidence
•  Palpitations and panic attacks
•  Irritability
•  Sleep disturbance/insomnia
•  The need for more toilet breaks
•  Chronic muscular skeletal pain
•  Aches and pains


Such symptoms in a workplace environment can make women feel exposed by their inability to conceal the often unpredictable, unpleasant and highly visible physical symptoms of the menopause.  Hot flushes and sweats, for example, are not only an obvious sign of the menopause, but can make women feel acutely self-conscious, particularly when working with younger staff members, male colleagues, customers or clients.  The working environment may also bring on or increase the symptoms, for example due to poor ventilation or having to stand for long periods of time.

Women may be reluctant to discuss symptoms or to seek support especially in a male-dominated workplace, leading to a sense of isolation, undermining their confidence and ability to function effectively.  

Assessment and adjustments

If an employee is feeling that their work is being affected by symptoms caused by the menopause or their working environment is in itself causing and aggravating the difficulties brought on by the menopause, she may have a confidential discussion with their line manager.  If the employee feels uncomfortable talking to their line manager for whatever reason, there should be an option to talk to a designated female manager, indicated person in HR or with the employee assistance programme.

The employee may ask for a risk assessment and/or reasonable adjustments such as:

•  changes to lighting, ventilation and t emperature control (eg provision of a fan)
•  changes to workspace environment
•  change to location of work
•  flexible working with changes to hours
•  easy access to toilet facilities and changing facilities
•  changes to dress code
•  access to chilled drinking water
•  review of work tasks

Any recommendations will be jointly agreed between an employee and their line manager and implemented where appropriate.  If required, the employee may involve a representative of a trade union or a workplace colleague.


There is no expectation on employees to work if they are unwell because of menopausal symptoms.

Employees may require additional time off through absences related to severe menopausal symptoms.  Absences related to the menopause will not count towards the Managing for Attendance (MFA) stages.

Occupational health

In some cases, the [COMPANY] may refer employees to occupational health so that they can advise on how the symptoms are impacted at work and make recommendations on the types of adjustments that may be appropriate. Occupational health may also signpost to external sources of help and advice.

Medical Appointments

Employees will be entitled to take reasonable time off to attend medical appointments for the purposes of assessing and supporting the menopause.  Appointments are to be made outside of working hours where possible.

It is to be noted that hormone replacement therapy can help some women with the menopause but not all as some can suffer severe side effects.

Employee assistance programme

Help and support is also available through our employee assistance programme (EAP). Employees can use our EAP to speak to an independent adviser on a confidential basis about any issue that is troubling them

Impact on others

We recognise that when someone is experiencing the menopause it can have an impact on their partner, carer, or close family member at work, particularly in terms of affecting sleep.

In these circumstances the [COMPANY] will support the employee with reasonable changes to shift patterns and starting times to ensure that they are not disadvantaged as a result of their close association with a person experiencing the menopause.


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