Does Male Menopause Exist in the Workplace?

Does Male Menopause Exist in the Workplace?

What is the Male Menopause (Andropause)?

The Male Menopause, or Andropause, is primarily associated with a gradual decline in testosterone levels, affecting men typically in their 40s and beyond. Symptoms can vary from person to person but often include fatigue, mood swings, reduced energy, sexual dysfunction, and cognitive changes.

These symptoms can have a significant impact on an individual's performance and overall well-being at work.

See NHS Male Menopause web page

Employee Rights and Legal Protections

Age Discrimination

Age discrimination is a violation of the Equality Act 2010, which provides a safeguard against various forms of discrimination, including age-related discrimination. Age discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfairly, less favourably, or harassed because of their age. Andropause, being a natural part of the aging process, falls under this protection.

Employees experiencing Andropause should be treated fairly and without prejudice by their employers and colleagues. Decisions related to employment, such as recruitment, promotions, or training, should be based on the individual's qualifications, experience, and capabilities rather than stereotypes related to age or Andropause symptoms.

Reasonable Adjustments

The Equality Act 2010 also imposes a duty on employers to make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities. While Andropause itself may not be classified as a disability, some of its symptoms can be considered disabling, particularly if they significantly impact an individual's work.

Reasonable adjustments may include flexible working hours, reduced workloads, and modifications to the work environment, such as temperature control, to accommodate specific Andropause symptoms. Employers should engage in open discussions with employees to identify appropriate adjustments and make the necessary changes to support their well-being and work performance.

In July 2021, the East Midlands Ambulance Service has published a workplace guidance document focusing specifically in Andropause, allowing employees to make reasonable adjustments, such as the provision of additional uniform to assist an employee when experiencing hot flushes and sweating, flexible working and a comfortable working environment.

Sick Pay and Medical Leave

If Andropause symptoms become severe and affect an employee's ability to work, they may need to take medical leave. Employees are entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP) if they meet certain criteria. SSP provides financial support during periods of illness, and this includes conditions related to Andropause symptoms.

The Role For Employers

Employers must ensure that they understand and adhere to the eligibility conditions for SSP and follow the required policies and procedures for sickness absence.


Disability Discrimination

Although Andropause itself is not a disability, specific symptoms may be considered disabling under UK disability discrimination laws if they substantially limit an employee's ability to perform their job. This protection ensures that employees are not discriminated against due to the effects of Andropause.

Employers must be ready to provide reasonable accommodations to assist employees in such circumstances.

Harassment and Bullying

Employees experiencing Andropause may be at a higher risk of workplace harassment or bullying based on their condition. The Equality Act 2010 prohibits harassment and bullying in the workplace, encompassing various protected characteristics, including age and disability.

Employers should maintain a work environment that is free from harassment and bullying, implementing clear anti-harassment and anti-bullying policies. These policies should be consistently enforced and accompanied by accessible reporting mechanisms.

Final Remarks

Joao Madeira

Joao Madeira, Employment Team
awson-West Solicitors, Leicester

"Andropause, while not widely discussed, is a natural phase in the aging process that can have substantial effects on men's physical and mental health, potentially affecting their work performance. Employees dealing with Andropause are entitled to various rights and legal protections to ensure their fair treatment and well-being in the workplace.

Employers and employees should be well-versed in these legal obligations and rights, in order to foster a supportive work environment that accommodates the needs of employees experiencing Andropause. Transparent communication, cooperation, and adherence to legal standards will help ensure that employees can continue to contribute effectively to the workplace while managing their Andropause symptoms. Ultimately, promoting a workplace that values diversity and supports employees through the challenges of Andropause is beneficial for both individuals and businesses."

Contact Us

View all