An all-party Parliamentary group has published a Manifesto for Menopause which calls on all political parties to commit to seven reforms ahead of the next General Election.
The Manifesto was launched at a reception in Parliament on World Menopause Day where new findings from a survey carried out by Menopause Mandate of over 2,000 women were shared. 95% of those surveyed said that their quality of life had suffered due to their symptoms and, for nearly 50%, it took over a year to realise that they might be perimenopausal or menopausal. 64% of working women said that they were negatively impacted by the menopause, but only 29% said that their employers had a menopause policy.
The reforms outlined in the Manifesto include:
- Requiring employers with over 250 employees to introduce menopause action plans to support employees experiencing the menopause;
- Providing specific guidance to SMEs to support employees going through the menopause; and
- Introducing tax incentives to encourage employers to integrate menopause support into occupational health.
Meanwhile the government has published a policy paper providing a summary of the work its Menopause Employment Champion, Helen Tomlinson, has undertaken and signposting employers to further guidance.
Helen's work has included meeting with key stakeholders and introducing a four-point plan which will initially focus on the hospitality, retail, care, manufacturing and professional and technical sectors. The plan includes:
- A portal for employers within a sector to share best practice.
- A sector-based allyship programme for women.
- "Menopause-friendly employers" to act as advocates within a sector.
- A sector-based communications plan.
A repository of menopause resources and guidance for employers and employees is being hosted on the government's Help to Grow website. The government also points to the British Standards Institute's (BSI's) recently published standard on 'Menstruation, menstrual health and menopause in the workplace'.