Suffolk Chamber statement on menopause leave pilots rejected by Government
Suffolk Chamber of Commerce was disappointed to learn that government recently rejected calls for a pilot scheme of menopause work leave, recommended by the Commons Women and Equality Committee to support women who are experiencing debilitating symptoms that impact their performance at work.
With businesses already struggling to retain staff, this decision is a lost opportunity to help businesses capitalise on the opportunity to support women who want to continue working whilst experiencing the menopause. The inquiry identified that a 2019 survey conducted by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that three in five menopausal women- usually aged between 45 and 55- were negatively affected at work and that almost 900,000 women in the U.K. left their jobs over an undefined period of time because of menopausal symptoms. The inquiry commented that could mean that women are leaving businesses “at the peak of their experience” which will “impact productivity”.
Many businesses recognise that this is a great opportunity to retain a highly skilled part of their workforce and are already implementing their own ‘menopause at work’ policies and support to help their team through this experience. In addition, they have expressed their commitment publicly by signing up for the Wellbeing of Women’s menopause workplace pledge. To help local businesses, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has created a dedicated page on their website to help businesses, including a manager’s guide and a draft menopause policy for businesses, and encourages businesses to speak to their managers to identify ways that they may be able to support staff as part of their wider health and wellbeing policies at work.