The British Standards Institute (BSI) has introduced a groundbreaking workplace standard aimed at providing support for employees experiencing menopause or menstruation.

The new guidance, titled “Menstruation, Menstrual Health and Menopause in the Workplace” (BS 30416), offers practical recommendations and strategies to help employers meet the needs of individuals going through these natural processes while retaining their experienced and talented staff.

The development of the standard involved extensive consultation with experts and the public to ensure comprehensive coverage of the topic. It addresses the challenges faced by employees experiencing menopause or menstruation and offers guidance on workplace adjustments and accommodations to alleviate their impact.

Research conducted by the Fawcett Society revealed that approximately 10% of individuals going through menopause have left their jobs due to symptoms such as hot flushes, dizziness, insomnia, and muscle and joint stiffness. This figure significantly rises to 25 percent for those experiencing more severe symptoms. The publication of the BS 30416 standard aims to address these issues and promote inclusivity and support within the workplace.

Several organisations and representatives contributed to the development of the standard, including Wm Morrison, BT, Unison, the Federation of Small Businesses, the LGBT Foundation, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, the Daisy Network, and Endometriosis UK. Their input ensured that a wide range of perspectives and expertise were considered during the standard’s formulation.

What are the key recommendations?

Key recommendations outlined in the standard include creating a workplace culture that fosters general awareness of menstruation and menopause, providing opportunities for open conversations and support requests from employees. It also emphasizes the importance of training for line managers and HR managers to enhance their understanding and sensitivity towards these issues. The standard encourages organizations to review their workplace environment and consider the inclusion of facilities such as quiet recovery spaces and discrete changing rooms. Additionally, offering flexible working options is highlighted as an essential way to accommodate the unique needs of individuals experiencing menopause or menstruation.

The launch of this new workplace standard marks a significant step forward in ensuring that employees going through menopause or menstruation receive the necessary support and understanding from their employers. By implementing the recommendations set out in BS 30416, businesses can create a more inclusive and supportive work environment that values the well-being and contributions of all employees.

Anne Hayes, director of sectors at the BSI, said:

“Organisations which prioritise their people by building an inclusive workplace will be best placed to continue to thrive in the future.“There is no one-size-fits-all experience of menopause, but the data suggests thousands of women are leaving the workforce at this stage, contributing to significant productivity losses, robbing organisations of talented people, and removing mentors who can draw on their experience to support newer members of staff. It doesn’t have to be that way.”

Helen Tomlinson, menopause employment champion for the UK Government, said: “I am truly delighted that the BSI have produced the Menstruation, menstrual health and menopause in the workplace standard, recognising the challenges, symptoms and experiences of both menopause and menstrual health and how these can affect women in the workplace.

“It’s a free resource for any organisation, large or small across all sectors, to be able to utilise. This will go a long way to ensure that everyone can receive the support they need at this critical time.

“I firmly believe this transition isn’t a time to step back, step down or step out. If we get this right for 50% of the population that we need in the workplace from an economic and experience perspective, it has the potential to make the final 10, 15 or 20 years of a woman’s career the most productive, exciting and meaningful.”





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.