Karin Smyth MP calls on Government to adopt Labour’s Menopause Action Plan

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, has demanded the Government implements Labour’s Menopause Action Plan so that women are no longer left behind at work.

Thousands of women are struggling at work due to perimenopausal symptoms, whilst women in their mid-life make up a large proportion of people who are out of work. This is bad for these women, their employers and the economy.

As part of our commitment to support women experiencing menopause, the next Labour government will help businesses to support their employees going through the menopause at work. This also builds on our commitments in our New Deal for Working People to make Britain work for working women.

Labour will require all large employers with more than 250 employees to submit menopause action plans (MAPs) annually, alongside their gender pay gap reporting, setting out how they are supporting their employees going through the menopause to thrive at work.

These plans won’t dictate what should be in these plans as workers from different sectors may have different needs. But they may include alterations in working conditions and working patterns, like provisions for flexible working where possible for women suffering from perimenopausal symptoms like fatigue or insomnia; and/or measures covering temperature control or uniform alterations for women experiencing hot flushes.

In Government, Labour will publish guidance for large employers about how to write a menopause action plan, what they can do to support staff and how they can effectively communicate their policies with their employees.

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:

“Labour is the party of women’s equality. The last Labour government did more to advance equality than any other. The next will match this record. For the last 13 years women have been ignored in the workplace by the Tory Government. When action was needed for menopause support it was ignored.

“All too often the menopause is ignored. When half the population are facing an uphill battle to get the basic support needed in the workplace it’s clear that women are being locked out of harnessing their talents at work. This simply needs to stop.

“That’s why the next Labour Government will deliver a new deal for working women by requiring large employers to submit menopause action plans annually. These will set out what they are doing to support women going through the menopause at work. Labour is on the side of women and business. That is why we’re prioritising the wellbeing of women workers, which we know contributes to growth and productivity.”