Age is one of the nine protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010. Generally, an employee is protected against discrimination because of age and should not receive unfair treatment because they are a different age or in a different age group to another employee or job applicant.

ACAS has a guide on age discrimination containing advice for employers and employees.


The menopause is a natural part of ageing that usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age. In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51. However, some women experience the menopause before 40 years of age. This is known as premature menopause.

Most women will experience menopausal symptoms to different extents. These can include

  • hot flushes
  • poor concentration
  • headaches
  • panic attacks
  • heavy periods
  • difficulty sleeping
  • low moods, anxiety or loss of confidence

To support employees or colleagues who are expriencing menopausal symptoms, organisations can consider making reasonable adjustments and to introduce a menopause policy.

External links for menopause support


  • Menopause matters - provides information about the menopause, menopausal symptoms and treatment options
  • the Daisy Network charity - provides support for women experiencing premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency
  • the Menopause CafĂ© - provides information about events where strangers gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss the menopause2