Large organisations would need Menopause policies and support under Labour

Large organisations could be forced to introduce a menopause workplace policy under a Labour government in an attempt to tackle the stigma which surrounds the menopause.

Dawn Butler, Labour’s shadow women and equalities secretary, will use a speech at the Labour Party conference on Saturday to unveil the “bold policy”.

Menopause Support campaign founder, Di Danzebrink was asked to comment by the media.

“I have always made it clear that I don’t care who makes the changes to ensure better care and support for women in healthcare and the workplace as long as the changes happen and they happen soon. I am working with cross party MPS in Westminster along with the #MakeMenopauseMatter campaign team to ensure that menopause stays very much on the agenda.” she said.

Under a Labour government, organisations which have over 250 employees would have to give managers training so they understand the physical and psychological impact of the menopause and get to grips with the changes needed to assist women. This could include offering ventilation facilities and providing women with flexible working patterns in case they are experiencing insomnia due to the menopause. Employers would also be obliged to deliver flexible working policies for menopausal women and conduct risk assessments which take into account the requirements of menopausal women to make sure their working conditions do not aggravate symptoms.

Dawn Butler said: “This bold policy will support women experiencing the symptoms of menopause in the workplace. Together we must end the stigma and ensure that no woman is put at a disadvantage, from menstruation to menopause.”

Quoted by The Independent (full story here) Di said Menopause awareness in the workplace would be a “win-win situation”, as currently far too many women are leaving the workplace due to a lack of guidance and support and employers are losing valuable, experienced members of staff.

Di said the campaign has been calling for menopause guidance in every workplace since its launch in Westminster on World Menopause Day, on 18 October last year. The campaign had worked with MPs from all parties, notably Carolyn Harris, Rachel Maclean and Paula Sherriff, to campaign for this guidance and mandatory menopause education for all GPs.

Our third aim, to have menopause included on the new relationships and sex education curriculum, was achieved in July only nine months after the campaign launched.” she added.