HUNDREDS of thousands of civil servants will get more rights at work after the government signed a menopause pledge today.
Ministers have pledged to support the 260,000 women in public service, many of whom will experience menopausal symptoms.
Health and Welfare Secretary Sajid Javid has urged other companies to follow suit.
Sun publishers News UK, PwC, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Santander UK have already signed up.
The move is a win for The Sun’s Fabulous Menopause Matters campaign, which calls for better support for women ‘managing the change’.
One in four women suffers from symptoms such as hot flashes, brain fog, anxiety, depression and trouble sleeping.
Menopausal symptoms begin around the age of 45 – the current average age of women in public service.
They can last for several years, both before and after the period ends.
Mr Javid said: “For some women, menopause symptoms can be extremely debilitating and it is absolutely crucial that they feel safe to ask for support at work.
“This pledge will ensure that women working in the public sector feel supported.
“I encourage other companies to do the same – big companies like Asda and Thames Water are already joining us in making that pledge to ensure their workplaces have menopause policies in place.”
Organized by the charity Wellbeing of Women, the Menopause Workplace Pledge calls on companies to recognize the impact of menopause on performance and to support women in staying in work.
It calls for education and open discussion about menopausal symptoms, as half of the population will be affected at some point in their lives.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet Office, Heather Wheeler, said: “Women need to feel empowered to speak out about their health issues and know that they are being supported.
“By recognizing the impact that menopause can have and creating an open culture free from shame, we can ensure these women feel comfortable in the workplace and prevent the brightest from leaving public service.”
This newspaper previously reported on the intentions of Women’s Health Secretary Maria Caulfield to sign the pledge in March.
The MP said: “We would not ask employers to do this unless we were willing to do the same.
“We really want women to feel like they can ask their employer, ‘Is there a menopause policy?’
“‘Am I entitled to take time off to ask my GP for HRT? Can we open fans, an air conditioner, or a few windows without breaking a sweat first?’”
The signing builds on the Public Service Policy on Menopause in the Workplace, launched in December 2021.
It highlights ways in which departments can support employees, for example by offering workplace adjustments.
The Sun’s Fabulous Menopause Campaign was launched in August 2021 to help end the suffering of women making the transition once and for all.
Key objectives include; Menopause policy in every workplace, reducing HRT costs and raising awareness of symptoms.
In October, ministers pledged to reduce the cost of repeat prescriptions for HRT, which will come into effect in April 2023.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/5509091/menopausal-civil-servants-more-freedoms-sajid-javid/ Menopausal officials to be given more freedoms as Sajid Javid urges companies to follow suit