Guidance launched on menopause and menstruation

BSI launches guidance on menopause and menstruation to help employers better support women experiencing severe symptoms.

Illustration of menopause and menstruation, with a clock featuring a womb illustration, a package of sanitary products and a calendar.


The UK’s national standards body has published new guidance designed to help organisations support employees experiencing menopause or menstruation and to aid retention.

BSI has published the Menstruation, menstrual health and menopause in the workplace standard (BS 30416), following extensive consultation, which sets out practical recommendations for workplace adjustments, as well as strategies to sit alongside existing well-being initiatives, to help organisations “meet the needs of employees experiencing menopause or menstruation”.

The guidance comes on the back of reports suggesting up to 10% of women going through menopause have dropped out of work as a result of their symptoms and estimates that global menopause productivity losses are estimated to already top $150 billion a year.

BS 30416 has been developed to help organisations identify misconceptions around menstruation and peri/menopause and the impact a taboo surrounding them can have on workplace support. It was developed with input from large businesses including Wm Morrison and BT, as well as representatives from UNISON, Federation of Small Businesses, LGBT Foundation, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, Daisy Network, Endometriosis UK.

The standard aims to provide examples of good practices for employers, including policy guidance, work design, workplace culture and physical aspects of work. Steps to consider include:

  1. Considering the workplace culture to determine whether there is there a general awareness of menstruation and menopause, and whether employees are given opportunities for open conversations or to request support.
  2. Looking at whether line managers and HR managers are suitably trained or receive suitable resources to understand the potential impact of menstruation and menopause.
  3. Reviewing if the workplace environment is properly controlled and there are facilities such as toilets or discrete changing rooms or quiet recovery spaces easily accessible.
  4. Checking whether the relevant policies including wellbeing and D&I consider menstruation and menopause.
  5. Looking at whether work designs enable some flexibility for an individual approach. Aspects could include scheduling, timings of breaks, comfort adjustments such as access to individual cooling or heating and opportunities for sitting or stretching.

The guidance is designed to be flexible, acknowledging that experiences of menstruation and menopause vary significantly and “not everyone will want support from their employers”.

Anne Hayes, Director of Sectors, BSI, said: “I am proud BSI is publishing this landmark guidance on menstruation, menstrual health and menopause in the workplace, to help employers retain talented people whatever stage of life they are in. Organisations which prioritise their people by building an inclusive workplace will be best placed to continue to thrive in the future.

“Many employers want to better support people experiencing menstruation and menopause, but they may face a lack of knowledge of how to do so. The recommendations are designed to address some of the broad challenges and offer practical adjustments to help all colleagues continue to feel valued, motivated and able to remain in the workforce for longer.”

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