First menopause employment champion appointed

10 March 2023

The government has appointed, Helen Tomlinson, England’s first ever menopause employment champion to help improve workplace support.

Research suggests those with serious menopausal symptoms take an average of 32 weeks of leave from work, whilst one in four women report they have considered leaving their job due to experiencing the menopause. The focus for Helen Tomlinson will be to encourage employers to develop menopause policies and to create more supportive environments.

The menopause employment champion will drive awareness of the issues surrounding menopause and work while promoting the benefits for businesses and the economy when women are supported to stay in work and progress. For instance, advising employers on small but significant changes they could make to the workplace, such as offering those experiencing symptoms more regular breaks, a choice of uniform or creating cooler spaces in offices for those experiencing hot flushes.

Helen Tomlinson said:

‘‘I have witnessed the transformational power that opening up conversations on the menopause can have in a workplace. By creating safe spaces by educating management and creating allies across workforces, women can be supported and empowered to manage their symptoms and thrive in work.

Less than a quarter of UK businesses currently have a menopause policy, but as I take on this role, I am determined that my generation of women in work will break the menopause taboo and have confidence that their health is valued.’’

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Minister, Mims Davies said:

‘‘Menopause is a major driver of too many women leaving the workforce early, often when they are at the peak of their skills and experience with so much more still to contribute.

Working positively with employers is vital to ensure they can recruit and retain women experiencing menopause and stop women perhaps considering giving up their employment due to the impact.’’

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