Menopause: Workplace Support

Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons am 2:34 pm ar 13 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Simon Jupp Simon Jupp Ceidwadwyr, East Devon 2:34, 13 Tachwedd 2023

What steps his Department is taking to help improve workplace support for women experiencing the menopause.

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Chair, Treasury Committee, The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

We take the challenges of the menopause very seriously, which is why the Government appointed Helen Tomlinson as the menopause employment champion for England. In terms of progress, I point my hon. Friend to the report, “No Time to Step Back”.

Photo of Simon Jupp Simon Jupp Ceidwadwyr, East Devon

I welcome the work by campaigners and Devon’s NHS to improve access to menopause services in Devon. Almost 80% of menopausal women are in work, yet all too often support can be lacking. What steps is my right hon. Friend taking to raise menopause awareness among employers?

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Chair, Treasury Committee, The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I thank my hon. Friend for his question and for his extensive work as my constituency neighbour, pushing for proper support in all GP practices across the county. We lead by example: 64% of the Department’s staff are female and we have a menopause and workplace policy, which sees 350 menopause ambassadors across our DWP network.

Photo of Kirsten Oswald Kirsten Oswald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Women), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Equalities)

Almost 900,000 women in the UK have quit their jobs due to the menopause. The right to flexible work is a key part of tackling economic inactivity, and it would particularly benefit people managing menopause symptoms. What conversations have taken place between Cabinet colleagues on removing the onus on employees to request flexible working and instead ensuring that that is provided as a day one right, by default?

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Chair, Treasury Committee, The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The hon. Lady’s question is best directed to the Department for Business and Trade rather than DWP, as it relates to employment legislation and regulation. However, I am pleased to tell her that we have our 50PLUS champions, work coaches in our jobcentres, the Midlife MOT and many other measures that are there to help exactly the people she describes.