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Labour will mandate that larger companies will have to produce Menopause Action Plans to show how they will accommodate menopausal women.
Labour has announced that it will require large firms to publish and implement Menopause Action Plans detailing how they are supporting women with menopause at work.
The action plans will have to detail how the company will support women going through menopause, and could include policies such as paid time off, uniform alterations or temperature control.
The move comes after increasing focus on the menopause at work and following research showing that one in 10 women left their jobs due to menopausal symptoms in 2022.
It also follows the Government’s response to a Women and Equalities Committee report on the menopause which called, among other things, for the menopause to be treated as a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. That would mean women who felt they were being discriminated against due to being menopausal could take legal action against their employer. The Government rejected this on the grounds that it could be discriminatory towards men with long-term health conditions. Critics have noted Labour’s plan doesn’t include any action on this front.
Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said the new policy was a “simple and effective way” to “improve productivity, keep more people in work and ultimately grow our economy for all”. Anneliese Dodds hailed the move as “a vital step forward” in supporting women to stay in work or to return to the workforce.
The policy will require employers with more than 250 employees to publish plans and communicate their menopause policies with their staff in a similar way that they do for gender pay gap reporting, which has also come under criticism because employers currently only have to submit their figures and don’t have to outline any action they will take to address gaps. Nevertheless, some employers have been more proactive both on the gender pay gap and on the menopause, with a growing number publishing their own menopause policies.