Health and beauty retailer Boots has announced it will cover the cost of prescriptions for its employees who take Hormone Replacement Treatment (HRT) from next month (April).
According to the business, which employs 51,000 team members across the UK, with 80% being women, the move is part of its aim to support an inclusive and open workplace culture. Around 8,600 of its team members are currently within the age range and medically able to access menopause treatment, and recent Boots research shows 15% will likely receive HRT in England.
Some 51% of the overall UK workforce will experience the menopause. Yet, according to written evidence to Parliament from menopause advice body Health and Her published in October 2021, its symptoms are often overlooked and ignored, and the subject can still be considered taboo.
Ben Horner, HR director at Boots, said: “I am delighted to announce that Boots is breaking down the barriers to accessing HRT medication and that we will offer this significant support option to team members who may be experiencing menopausal symptoms. Women make up the majority of our Boots workforce, and we are focused on offering the support that will work best for them as they navigate this important life transition and other health concerns.”
Additionally, Boots has said it is committed to creating a workplace culture where women can feel empowered to talk about the menopause and other important health issues, and get the support they need as part of its ambition to become a menopause-friendly employer.
Recognising that HRT is not for everyone, however, Boots has also introduced a series of initiatives and support packages aimed at breaking down barriers, raising awareness and supporting team members experiencing the condition.
These include menopause-at-work guidance, a Menopause Network, counselling sessions, its Boots Online Doctor Service and My Menopause Centre, which is a part of its health app.