Menopause and Hormonal Changes Policy

A PDF of the full Managing Attendance Policy is available here: Menopause and Hormonal Changes Policy 


1. Introduction

1.1 The University is committed to supporting a working environment in which all colleagues thrive as part of an inclusive community.

1.2 Menopause is a transition which most women and people who menstruate will experience, although the timing and nature of their experience and symptoms will differ between individuals.

1.3 Colleagues may also experience hormonal changes that result in similar symptoms to the peri- and post-menopause due to medical treatments or procedures including but not limited to certain cancer treatments and gender reassignment processes.

1.4 Fostering an inclusive environment for all colleagues to navigate these life and health transitions may require the agreement and implementation of reasonable adjustments[1].

1.5 Moreover, such an environment necessitates a culture free from stigma and taboo when discussing embodied health and wellbeing experiences and their impact at work.

[1] Menopause symptoms have been deemed to constitute a disability in some contexts. Not all circumstances will lend themselves to the same legal protections.

2. Aims

This policy aims to:

2.1 Remove stigma and empower colleagues to discuss their experience of menopause and/or hormonal changes alongside making requests for support or reasonable adjustments required to ensure they continue to thrive at work.

2.2 Raise awareness and educate people managers about different symptoms of menopause and hormonal changes and how they can support colleagues and their teams.

2.3 Provide tools and guidance to help colleagues and people managers engage in constructive conversations about menopause and/or hormonal changes and work.

2.4 Reduce absenteeism due to menopausal and/or hormonal changes symptoms through enhanced support and reasonable adjustments.

2.5 Outline roles and responsibilities for colleagues, managers, and service areas arising from the policy and the processes to follow as part of fulfilling their roles and responsibilities.

3. Scope

3.1 The provisions of this policy apply to all University employees, irrespective of the type of contract they have. Any questions or concerns regarding eligibility should be directed to the relevant College/University Services HR Team


4. Definitions

4.1 Menopause: defined as a stage in life that occurs when hormones change and eventually menstruation stops. Usually, it is defined as having occurred upon not having had a period for 12 consecutive months (for those reaching menopause ‘naturally’).

While the average menopause age is 51, menopause can occur earlier ‘naturally’ (sometimes referred to as Premature Ovarian Insufficiency if before 40) or due to surgery such as hysterectomy or oophorectomy (induced menopause), illness (such as cancer and related treatment), or other reasons.

4.2 Perimenopause: is the time leading up to and around menopausal transition associated with changes and menopausal symptoms. This can be years before menopause.

4.3 Post-Menopause: is the time after menopause has occurred, starting from the point at which periods have stopped for twelve consecutive months. Symptoms can still occur during this time.

4.4 Hormonal Changes: can impact a range of colleagues for a number of reasons. Many of these changes may cause symptoms that impact someone at work. Colleagues experiencing these changes may benefit from the support recommended under this policy.

Common reasons for hormonal changes that result in symptoms impacting work include, fertility treatment, health conditions requiring hormone treatment as well as hormone therapies and treatments connected to gender reassignment, such as cross-sex hormone treatments for trans and non-binary people, including those who are medically transitioning.

4.5 Andropause: relates to the natural decrease in testosterone as men age. The decrease is much more gradual than the hormonal decline and variation during menopause and, as such, the symptoms tend to be less wide-ranging or severe.

5. Symptoms

5.1. Hormonal changes can result in a wide range of symptoms, both physiological and psychological.

5.2. The most common symptoms reported to impact women at work, include:

  • Difficulty sleeping, insomnia or fatigue
  • Hot flushes during the day or night
  • Low mood, depression, or changes in mood
  • Nervousness, worry or anxiety
  • Reduced ability to concentrate or focus
  • Changes in memory recall
  • Migraines or headaches
  • Aches and pains
  • Irregular and/or heavy periods or bleeding
  • Urinary issues, e.g. increased frequency in needing to go to the toilet

5.3 It is important to remember that colleagues will experience menopause and hormonal changes differently. Experiences and perceptions of the menopause may also differ in relation to socio-economic status, disability, age, race, religion, sexual orientation or marital/civil partnership status. They can also be affected by the nature and type of job they do, such as whether it involves manual work, or standing or sitting for long periods of time.

5.4 Symptoms, and their frequency and/or severity, will vary and may fluctuate and change over time.

5.5 Managing symptoms is a personal health related choice and the aim of this policy and support is not to advise or direct colleagues to adopt a specific approach.

6. Roles and Responsibilities

6.1 All colleagues are responsible for:

6.1.1. Treating all colleagues with dignity and respect and contributing to an inclusive and productive work environment.

6.1.2. Accepting reasonable adjustments their colleagues may arrange, regardless of whether they know the reason for these.

6.1.3. Proactively supporting their own health and wellbeing.

6.1.4. Engaging in open conversations with managers about their experience should they feel any adjustments are needed.

6.1.5. If a colleague is unable to speak to their line manager or they feel unsupported by them, they can approach their College/University Services HR Team for advice.


6.2 All Line Managers should:

6.2.1 Familiarise themselves with the Menopause and Hormonal Changes Policy and Guidance (Additional information can be found in the online Menopause Training).

6.2.2 Remain open and willing to hold constructive conversations about menopause and hormonal changes, taking the personal nature of the discussion into account and treating it in a sensitive and professional manner.

6.2.3 Be mindful of any disclosure of menopause or requests for reasonable adjustments raised by colleagues when managing and supporting performance and development at work.

6.2.4 Use Line Manager Guidance on Constructive Menopause Conversations provided to review and identify any adjustments required by colleagues and signpost support available, where appropriate.

6.2.5 Record adjustments that have been agreed and any actions to be implemented in writing and share this with your colleague.

6.2.6 Schedule ongoing dialogue and review dates or agree alternative ways to check-in on colleagues who have previously disclosed menopause or hormonal changes.

6.2.7 Ensure agreed adjustments, which they can accommodate, are fully implemented.

6.2.8 Where adjustments cannot be accommodated or are unsuccessful, or if symptoms are proving more significant than local accommodations allow, the Line Manager may:

  • Discuss a referral to Occupational Health for further advice.
  • Seek advice from College/University Services HR Team.
  • Refer the employee to Occupational Health.
  • Review Occupational Health advice, and implement any recommendations, where reasonably practical.
  • Update recorded adjustments and continue to review.

8. Additional Information

8.1 Colleagues have access to support and resources via:

For further advice and information on this policy, please contact your College/University Services HR team or the Equality and Diversity Unit.

Document Control


Policy name

Menopause and Hormonal Changes Policy

Implementation date

10 October 2022

Last reviewed

10 October 2022


People and Organisational Development, Equality and Diversity Unit.