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Usdaw welcomes Labour commitment to support workers going through the menopause

Date: 21 September 2019 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has welcomed today’s conference announcement in Brighton by Dawn Butler MP, that large employers will be forced to provide flexible hours to women experiencing the menopause under Labour plans to end stigma in the workplace.
Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary Dawn Butler announced that firms with more than 250 employees would also be made to train managers on the effects of the menopause on working women so they can accommodate their needs. The policy is part of measures to transform the workplace for women.

An Usdaw Survey of over 1,800 women members going through the menopause found that: Over half do not feel able to approach their managers if they experience menopause symptoms in the workplace and one in five had taken time off work related to menopause symptoms.

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “We very much welcome Labour’s recognition that the menopause is an increasingly relevant issue for workers, as the proportion of older women in the workplace rises. Women make up nearly half the workforce and around 70% aged 45-59 currently work, so more women are working through the menopause.

“Symptoms of the menopause can be aggravated by working conditions, but can be alleviated to some extent by simple but effective adjustments to the working environment or working practices.

“Our survey shows that far too many women workers feel they are not able to raise issues around the menopause with their employer, even though the symptoms led to a substantial number taking time off work. Usdaw is working with employers to improve the situation, but having a Labour Government that is prepared to tackle this discrimination would make a real difference to the lives of so many women workers.”

Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 410,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

Usdaw Menopause Survey Results: 1,804 women members responded during 2018. The majority were going through the menopause (95.8%), of which 80% had been experiencing symptoms for up to 5 years, with another 20% percent still experiencing symptoms after 5 years. 54.1% do not feel able to approach their managers if they experience menopause symptoms in the workplace. 21.3% said they had taken time off work related to menopause symptoms.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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