Flexible working hours for menopausal women to become Labour policy

21 September 2019, 07:48 | Updated: 21 September 2019, 13:24

Women going through the menopause could benefit from more flexible working hours under Labour plans to tackle stigma in the workplace.

Large companies with 250 or more employees would be forced to give menopausal women flexible hours - and managers would receive training on the effects of the menopause so they can accommodate their needs.

Dawn Butler, shadow women and equalities secretary, will announce the plans at the Labour Party conference when it opens in Brighton on Saturday.

She said: "This bold policy will support women experiencing the symptoms of menopause in the workplace. Together we must end the stigma and ensure that no woman is put at a disadvantage, from menstruation to menopause.

"This forms part of our plans for a workplace revolution under the next Labour government to secure equality at work."

Labour's plans would also require large employers to make their absence procedures flexible, and treat the menopause like a long-term fluctuating health condition.

Employers would also have to carry out risk assessments to ensure the work environment doesn't worsen women's symptoms.

Recommended adjustments could include adequate ventilation to alleviate hot flushes, access to cold water, and flexible hours if sleep is disturbed.

Three in five women between the ages of 45 and 55 say the menopause had a negative impact on them at work, according to Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development research.

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The plans are part of a set of Labour policies focusing on women in the workplace and also include forcing large companies to publish action plans to close the gender pay gap, and tackle harassment at work through the Equalities Act.