Life Style

Women like us need menopause leave, even if the government doesn’t think so

She had ‘horrendous’ periods, with only four days each month without bleeding, and the night sweats left her sheets soaked through. 

‘The thought of carrying out simple day-to-day tasks with brain fog and memory loss made me feel like a complete failure,’ says the personal stylist, now 44 and based in Devon.

‘I experienced uncontrollable rages – like PMT on steroids – and a huge amount of negativity that was all-encompassing.’ 

It’s why she’s frustrated that ministers have rejected a proposal submitted by the Women and Equalities Committee to introduce ‘menopause leave’ pilots in England.

The government report, released on Tuesday, also dismisses a recommendation to make menopause a protected characteristic under the Equality Act – in case this leads to the discrimination of men.

It suggests these proposed changes could lead to “unintended consequences which may inadvertently create new forms of discrimination, for example, discrimination risks towards men suffering from long-term medical conditions”.

Instead, the government said it was focused on encouraging employers to implement other workplace menopause policies.

Like Chantelle, around one in 100 women experience perimenopause symptoms before the age of 40. Although we often use the phrase ‘the menopause’ colloquially, technically a woman has only reached ‘the menopause’ when she’s had a year without periods.

The bit leading up to that – called the perimenopause – can be debilitating, and symptoms often coincide with a woman’s career entering its peak.

The impact is shocking. Around one million women in the UK have even been forced to leave their jobs due to perimenopause/menopause symptoms, according to research released by Bupa last year

Chantelle, who’s cut down her working hours due to symptoms, believes she would have greatly benefitted from menopause leave, to ‘pause and reset the cog for even a couple of months’.

Source of data and images: metro

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