Sadiq Khan Says Menopause Vacation Scheme ‘Stops Women’s Suffering’

Sadiq Khan introduced the program in 2022 (Image: PA)

Sadiq Khan introduced the scheme in 2022 (Image: PA/Carol Yepes/Getty)

The Mayor of London has reflected on the “remarkable” impact of City Hall’s menopause scheme.

Sadiq Khan introduced the new policy on International Women’s Day in 2022 to address what he called one of the “last taboos in the workplace” at the time.

If necessary, an employee could be released because of menopausal symptoms.

The changes were introduced to “ensure that anyone experiencing menopausal symptoms receives the same support and understanding as if they had any other health condition”.

A year later, Mr. Khan has called the program “groundbreaking” and reflected on the experiences of employees who have already felt the benefits.

Speaking at City Hall’s women’s policy summit ahead of International Women’s Day 2023, the Mayor told ‘I read about some of the experiences of two of our staff last week about the difference it has made for them and it was remarkable.

“In the past they would have suffered in silence.”

City Hall in London

The program helps workers at City Hall (Image: In Pictures via Getty Images)
Some people think menopause should be a protected trait (Image: Getty/

He explained that simple changes could be made, such as ensuring managers are “aware of menopause” and that they work with staff to make adjustments.

This could include employees who have or use a fan at their desk tempered areas within the building.

“Things like that change everything, but nobody feels embarrassed either,” he added.

“I don’t want anyone who works here to be ashamed of something that’s out of their control.”

It comes after Labor MP Carolyn Harris last week urged Women and Equality Secretary Kemi Badenoch to provide more support.

However, Ms Badenoch dismissed the idea of ​​testing a menopausal holiday as it had been suggested “from a left-wing perspective”.

UK Secretary of State for International Trade Kemi Badenoch (right) walks across the Hyatt Hotel bridge during the Conservative Party's annual conference at the International Convention Center in Birmingham. Picture date: Sunday October 2, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Tory. Photo credit should read: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Minister for Women and Equality Kemi Badenoch labeled menopause a ‘left wing’ (Credits: PA)

She also likened the idea of ​​making menopause a protected trait to making comments about people with red hair.

The Mayor today called on the government to ensure taxpayer-funded government agencies take their responsibilities to fellow women seriously and are inclusive and supportive at all levels.

In a letter to Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride, he called for all public institutions to become “women-friendly” workplaces.

This includes establishing new guidelines on domestic violence, acute menstrual pain and menopause.

YouGov data from 2022 shows that 40% of these women said they had never taken time off work, even though 24% of women had menstrual periods that were painful enough to interfere with their ability to work.

Another 23% did so only “sometimes” or “rarely”.

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Justin Scacco

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