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Labour conference: Menopausal women ‘should get flexible work hours’

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Labour conference: Menopausal women 'should get flexible work hours'

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Dawn Butler will announce her plans at the conference later

Large employers would be forced to provide flexible hours for women suffering from menopause in their work plans to end workplace stigma.

Shadow Equality Minister Dawn Butler announced the "bold" policy when the party conference begins in Brighton.

Other proposals to discuss include the expansion of GP training, transportation and posture on Brexit.

But the opening of the conference was overshadowed by a dispute over an attempt to get rid of Tom Watson's deputy lead role.

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  • Labor deputy Watson condemns attempt to expel him

Under Butler's plans, companies with more than 250 employees would also be required to train managers on the effects of menopause to accommodate employee needs.

The deputy said: "Together we must end stigma and ensure that no woman is disadvantaged from menstruation to menopause."

Three out of five menopausal women between 45 and 55 say they have a negative impact on them at work, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Mandy Broadbent of Bolton, Lancashire, ambassador of the charity Eve Appeal, said "employers should do everything possible to make women feel comfortable in a difficult phase of life."

The 56-year-old added: "It can be such a drastic change in women's lives, no one is prepared for it and you can really lose your confidence.

"The more employers are flexible, the more they will help women reach their potential."

Labour conference: Menopausal women 'should get flexible work hours'

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Work plans would also require large employers to ensure that absence procedures are flexible and treat menopause as a long-term fluctuating health condition.

Recommended adjustments include providing adequate ventilation to help alleviate hot flashes, ensuring access to cold water and flexible working hours if sleep is disturbed.

Other labor policies on women in the workplace to be announced include forcing large companies to publish action plans to reduce the gender pay gap and combat workplace harassment through the Equality Act.

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