News

Women made to feel ‘incapable of doing their job’ because of menopause

By on

An MP has called for workplace menopause policies to be made mandatory, to help women work through what can be the most difficult time of their lives.


Welsh Labour Party politician Carolyn Harris MP, speaking at a debate the issue on 9 June, said it was a ‘positive step forward’ that education on the menopause is being incorporated into the school curriculum, but that this is ‘just one part of a much bigger picture.’

She called for better training for GPs to ensure that women are correctly diagnosed and given the right treatments and for workplaces to be proactive in providing support.

“Women should not feel inferior or incapable of doing their job because of the effects of the menopause on their health and wellbeing, but, sadly, too many do.

“The situation could be so easily rectified. Simple changes in the workplace, such as flexible working hours, relaxed uniform policies and adaptations to the working environment, could all make such a difference.”

Simple changes in the workplace, such as flexible working hours, or relaxed uniform policies could make a big difference, says Carolyn Harris MP. Photograph: iStock

Sharing the findings of a consultation which is running as part of the Women’s Health Strategy for England, she cited how one respondent, Dinah, had explained that in her workplace, she was “surprised to find no menopause policy whereas we have policies for most conceivable events.”

Dinah had told her manager about her menopausal symptoms and how it was impacting her work. She said: “I was offered no support, we just talked about how I could stop making mistakes.”

The average age for a woman to reach the menopause in the UK is 51 years, according to the NHS. It means that up to 47 per cent of the UK workforce will experience menopause transition during their working lives, says a 2017 government review.

An online petition to require employers with more than 250 employees to introduce a menopause policy has gained over 2,000 signatures. “Whether it’s a policy or guidance document – it’s best if it’s written down and well publicised. A written Menopause policy for all large employers would be a significant step,” says the petition creator Nicky O’Brian.

Harris said she would be setting up an all-party parliamentary group on menopause support over the coming months.

“Women deserve so much better. They are giving up their careers and ending relationships because of the severity of their symptoms and the impact on their physical and mental wellbeing. It is no coincidence that suicide rates for women peak between the ages of 45 and 54, which is the average age that most women reach the menopause or experience perimenopausal symptoms. This cannot carry on.”

Women’s Health Strategy: call for evidence (consultation ends 13 June) here

NEWS


iStock-610949456_TeamjacksonMED.jpg

Review to consider future of work in post-Covid era

By Belinda Liversedge on 09 June 2022

The government has appointed MP Matt Warman to lead a review into the future of work.



Istock 1338616188 Credit Xavierarnau

Haulage sector faces deadline to raise roadside standards

By Belinda Liversedge on 06 June 2022

The government must force road freight operators to improve welfare conditions for drivers or more of them will leave the sector, a committee has warned.



CAD 2022 Themed Graphic Min

Support the UK’s Clean Air Day, 16 June 2022

By Global Action Plan on 01 June 2022

Global Action Plan co-ordinates the UK’s largest campaign on air pollution, Clean Air Day.