The Government commissioned an evidence review of menopause, published last July, which highlighted the important role that employers can play in supporting women. Following that, the Women’s Business Council developed a toolkit for employers, which enables employers to make the right adaptations to physical workplace environments, support flexible working, and raise awareness to help tackle this issue. To date, social media awareness-raising activity has reached nearly 300,000 people.
I thank the Minister for that answer. The TUC and the trade unions have produced some excellent guides to menopause policies in the workplace. Does she agree that menopause policies should become statutory for employers in the same way that maternity policies are statutory?
This is part of our changing expectations of employers. We now know that the employment rate of older women, aged 50 to 64, has risen more than any other age group since 2010. With more women over the age of 50 remaining in work, more women will experience the symptoms of menopause while at work and so it is in employers’ interests to ensure that they have policies that adapt.
I thank the Minister for her response. Can she further outline how information is provided to small businesses that do not have a human resources department and are not sure how to access help or information as easily as other businesses with HR departments?
We are conscious of the difficulties of scale in small businesses, which is why the Women’s Business Council toolkit is available to employers of any size. We have also appointed the Business in the Community age at work leadership team as the business champion for older workers. We very much hope that its work will help employers and women understand their rights.