Ministers have rejected a suggestion from the Women and Equalities Committee to introduce “Menopause Leave” pilot programmes to support those going through the menopause.
The proposal was published in the committee’s Fourth Special Report – Menopause and the workplace: Government Response to the Committee’s First Report of Session 2022–2023.
Peppy agrees that the Women and Equalities Committee is right to bring up the topic of menopause in the workplace, but believes that rather than providing leave, women would benefit more from education, counsel, and treatment for symptoms.
Peppy chief nursing officer and director of menopause services Kathy Abernethy says: “While we welcome this focus on menopause as a workplace issue: approval of sick leave just isn’t the answer here. While it’s true many individuals do take time off work due to menopausal symptoms, what colleagues really need is easy access to information and appropriate treatment to effectively manage those symptoms.
“Many workplaces can and do offer great support, which is very important, but access to treatment – whether that is HRT, lifestyle changes, nutritional support or therapy approaches (or often all of these) – is essential, and workplaces who support their people to make informed decisions around treatment choices, may find that absence is far less common.”