Sir Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the House of Commons, signed the Menopause Workplace Pledge yesterday as part of a commitment to make it an “exemplary” employer to female staff going through the menopause.
Mariella Frostrup, Penny Lancaster, Lisa Snowdon and MP Carolyn Harris, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Menopause, attended the signing of the pledge, which was launched by Wellbeing of Women. Hoyle explained that he plans to introduce simple adjustments to the workplace and working patterns, which he hopes will create a better environment for menopausal women in Parliament.
These include well-ventilated rooms and access to fans, encouraging staff to talk about the menopause, flexible working, breathable uniforms, advice from on-site clinical nurses and an occupational health team, time off for related appointments, training for managers, and menopause awareness events.
Hoyle, who has urged all 649 of his MP colleagues to sign the pledge for staff in their Commons and constituency offices, said: “I value my female colleagues and staff, and I do not want them avoiding promotion or leaving Parliament because of the symptoms they are experiencing.
“I also want to break the taboo, just as we did with mental health issues, and get everyone in our parliamentary village talking about the menopause and offering support for those going through it. After all, we men are the husbands, brothers, sons and colleagues of those facing the menopause, so it is particularly important that we are onboard as allies to offer our support and understanding.”
Harris said she was thrilled that the pledge had been signed and that it commits the House of Commons to recognising, talking about and supporting employees going through the condition.
“It is so important employers recognise the impact that the menopause can have on women and the difference their support and understanding can make. This commitment in signing the pledge signals the House of Commons position as a progressive and supportive employer, and I couldn’t be more delighted about that,” she said.