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Should women have time off work for menopausal symptoms?

Companies will be required to grant women ‘menopause leave’ and flexible working hours if Jeremy Corbyn wins power, Labour has announced.

They say that it would make larger companies introduce ‘menopause-friendly’ policies, including flexible working hours for women and better education for managers.

Three in five women between the ages of 45 and 55 say the menopause had a negative impact on them at work, according to Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development research.

This topic was also debated today on Good Morning Britain (GMB) with Michelle Heaton (The Liberty X star, 39,) who claimed menopausal women should be given time off work to deal with their symptoms. She appeared alongside journalist Eve Pollard, 73, who suggested the move could lead to more discrimination against women in the workplace.

‘Women were discriminated against getting jobs when they were fertile, it’s the same thing. It’s about fertility. And it’s about what our bodies are producing.’ said Eve Pollard

Former newspaper editor Eve, who is Claudia Winkleman’s mother, suggested that pregnancy leave is easier to account for because you know how long it lasts, while menopause symptoms can continue for years.

Some women don’t suffer at all, some suffer a lot. So who would determine how much time off is needed?

Both ladies agreed that it is a very positive move that this previously taboo topic is now being openly discussed.

What are your views?  Should menopausal women be discriminated against? Should women just ‘get on with it’, as previous generations of women have done or is now the time to have a rethink? As it’s a medical condition that women go through should allowances be made?

Should women have time off work for menopausal symptoms?

622 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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Retiredyorkie
11th Oct 2019
0
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Any more time off work !!!!

Why not just shut companies down and put everyone on benefits = this way it would cover sickness leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, menopausal leave, that should just about cover 40 years of working life.

Hey presto now on retirement leave.
sparrer
11th Oct 2019
0
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Oh for goodness' sake, what a pointless subject!
dementedgranma
11th Oct 2019
-1
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We really are becoming a nanny state, take a tablet and get on with it.
Labour only want the vote and don't really care about people in this country
VeraS
11th Oct 2019
1
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biker babe
11th Oct 2019
1
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Alicia
11th Oct 2019
1
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No they are wimps! We all go through it.
LindaR35
8th Oct 2019
0
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Please don't take this the wrong way as I feel in today's society everything is being over exaggerated! I had problems with the menopause while working ,I had very low days where I went to work got to the door of my workplace turned & meant home ,curled up in a blanket & slept ! Didn't want to see any one ! I remember going to my friend who was personnel manager I told her I was having these problems ! Her words was if I had a gun I'd shoot you ! Which I felt at the time very hurt! But I got on with my year of hardship suffering plus left my job ! Years later my friend sent me a email , asking how I was ? & explained how very sorry she was at speaking to me like she did when going though menapause , cause she was now going though it !! I think of my poor mother my grandmother wonderful hard working women didn't get no help , just had to get on with it ! I feel a lot of people today are looking for excuses for laziness they don't want to work jobs , they say they have so much to do yet they have all household mod cons ! Plus so many young mums have their daily cleaner plus do the ironing ? They still moan ! I've said too much already ! But to stay healthy have a healthy mind by working hard ,doing things for yourself plus teach your children to do chores! Get working out by walking places instead of driving every where ! talk to people face to face not on social media ! Chatting is healthy over a coffee or a long walk ! Don't look for excuses just think for yourself have routine ,
page
7th Oct 2019
0
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Having had all the ups and downs of the Menopause, and as previously quoted the symptoms can continue throughout life. There is medical help for women that suffer seriously, and all previous generations of women (whose lives were much harder than ours) they accepted it is part of normal process of a woman...There are women that would take advantage of this loop hole, to get attention and avoid going to work, As we all know of drama queens that already do this.
Alfred6
6th Oct 2019
1
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Women ..from the age of 12/15 to 50's have to undergo female biological functions every month..that generally cause great discomfort///not to mention ill formed comments and snide remarks...then when menopause finally arrives,it must seem like the monthly cycle is having it's last severe,"whack" at womankind,before they are allowed pain and worry free times ahead.No man would ever..or could ever bear the weight of womanhood and the biological functions thereof...YES....menopausal symptoms should be considered a valid condition to have time of for...
Boots
4th Oct 2019
1
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Perhaps I am lucky but I had no real female problems at puberty or with the menopause. I did have the occasional hot flush and sometimes was very hot in bed at night but nothing I couldn't cope with. How much is real and how much is in the mind I don't know. All I know is I was not going to let the menopause upset my life. I did not go on HRT or anything else, apart from Vitamin B6 I think for a while.
Katimo
2nd Oct 2019
3
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We should have care and compassion for everyone no matter what illness or difficulties they may be going through. What upsets me are the people who will abuse the system, worry too much about what others have instead of just being happy with their lot. So in answer to the question yes, some woman suffer more so with menopause and should have more understanding from their employers but they should also still show effort , give and take the same as any relationship, and not use their situation as an excuse.
SandraD46
1st Oct 2019
2
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As a sufferer from the early age of 12 until I had a hysterectomy at 31 due to horrendous menopausal symptoms in my opinion ladies with genuine severe problems should be allowed time off work
jeanmark
2nd Oct 2019
1
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Sorry SandraD46, whilst understand your sentiment I am a little confused about your suffering from menopausal symptoms from the age of 12 until a hysterectomy at 31?
DipsyDitsy
30th Sep 2019
1
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No, phone the Amarant Trust if it's still available and get some advice. HRT does work; however much you don't want to use it but why suffer. I knew there were risks but the menopausal symptoms were so bad that I felt the benefits of the patch out weighed any risks and I was monitored. I had a very early menopause as the symptoms arrived 4-5 days after lots of surgery that brought it on and it was awful. There are so many symptoms that I never known were anything to do with the menopause. Get as much info and advice as possible before your menopause but don't let it spoil your work or your life. Stay happy.
jeanmark
1st Oct 2019
1
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Sometimes the risks may appear to out weigh the benefits and a good GP should be able to assess this. I think it has to be up to the individual to consider what is best for her. A close friend suffered really badly from the side effects to the extent were she had difficulty working and was advised by her GP to discontinue it after 5 months. She had no choice but to try and soldier on and would get increasingly upset when other women would tell her to pull herself together and take HRT!

I think it is important to recognise that HRT may not be for everyone and be ready to support those who have to find other ways of coping.
DipsyDitsy
1st Oct 2019
1
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HRT is not for everyone but worth trying and there are different ones. There are lots of natural remedies too but I sill think these need a practitioner's advice. When the symptoms are really bad I believe sick leave is needed but I just felt that I would fight it and all the symptoms. I was really and truly well advised by the Amarant trust and luckily I had an excellent GP. I could not have fully decided for myself without getting as much information as possible first.
jeanmark
2nd Oct 2019
1
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I understand what what you have said but still believe that not every woman is helped by taking either HRT or other recommended natural products, how ever well educated they are on the subject on what is available (and many women are), we should all have an understanding of how these few women may suffer and ensure we give our support. That doesn't mean being treated as 'special'!
Wilf
30th Sep 2019
2
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I asked the Boss (my wife) she says its total cobblers and suggests "Mr Corbyn needs to lie down with a cold flannel on his head-the poor love" My view is for somebody (Corbyn) who has never done a proper days work in his life-couldn't run a bath and is clueless this is another joke of a vote winner.
Lionel
1st Oct 2019
2
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I guess you're not a raging Corbynista, Wilf.
Wilf
1st Oct 2019
2
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Like most of them Lionel they do not know what a hards days work is. Most have never had to work like a donkey their whole lives worrying about money. They make stupid statements-do not follow up on promises. They live in a fluffy parallel universe. Now Labour want everyone to be the same so that is fine so long as everyone is pulled up in society. Case in point. Abolishing Grammar schools. NO do not abolish them-get all other schools up to the same standard. But now they rant on about abolishing private schools-Diane Abbots son was sent to a private school? It is all total hypocrisy and rubbish.
Lionel
1st Oct 2019
2
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You're right to be angry, Wilf, as I am, and you know I fully agree in respect of raising state schools to Grammar school level. Best thing we could demand for our grand children. Good Public School level would be my choice, the best Britain may offer it's young people.

Wilf, you've said in the past that when you moved up to a Grammar School it was the discipline which saved you. Even King David in the Bible, 3,000 years ago, recognised education must first begin with personal discipline. Sobering thought in view of out times of anything goes.

British politicians display no self discipline. Their behaviour, no matter their party colour, is reprehensible. It's no better than the ill-educated/ill=disciplined hoards hitting Magalouf in summer! What may be expect of our next crop of party candidates, some of whom almost certainly are in this year's Magalouf hoardes?

There's been so much talk about 'Britishness' since the Referendum. The State even offers classes in it. Yet nothing I've read or heard encapsulates the core values of Britishness: Honour, personal integrity, honesty, self discipline, generosity and dedication to one's endeavours (work). Well, that's a few to be going on with. As I view Westminster and the Civil Service almost everyone would fall at the first hurdle.

Looking out over our once great nation I believe we've become Europeans and left behind the best of Britishness.

Even fish and chips are now cooked in oil!
Wilf
2nd Oct 2019
1
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What did they used to be cooked in Lionel-It was always oil wasn't it or am I being thick?
Lionel
2nd Oct 2019
1
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Not thick Wilf, not at all. Traditionally fish and chips were cooked in beef dripping.

My grand parents who part raised me lived in a cottage next to a fish and chip shop. It's where I learned to cook them. Still use the same method once a week. Never had anyone refuse my fish and chips.
Wilf
2nd Oct 2019
1
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I learn something every day Lionel even at my advancing age-Thanks!
Lionel
3rd Oct 2019
1
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Wilf, you're either going to love this next or loathe it.

Fish and chips was unheard of in Britain until about 1880/90. In that time there was a trickle of about 3000 Jewish refugees a year from the Pale on the Eastern side of Russia who emigrated to Britain. Because of the restrictions placed upon them by the Tsars Russian Jews could not bake anything, just fry or boil. Boiled wheat bread is now known as Bagels.

Since pork was off the menu because it's forbidden to us, beef fat was the frying medium. The Pale, being a vast area separated from Russia but within it's boundaries, bordered the Baltic sea which was a rich source of food.

Fish was fried in beef dripping along with potato fragments, leftovers from other meals, and hey presto! A good nourishing meal.

Late nineteenth Jewish immigration to Britain centred on the East End of London; if employment can't be found sell food. It's the same today but not Jewish food.

Fish and chips caught on - cheap and nourishing - and it became an icon of British cuisine. In fact, it's as much British as is curry. It's the same as asking for a pizza in Venice. I did, and quickly found out the pizza it British, not Italian. (I learned to swear in Italian in that encounter.)
Lionel
3rd Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Wilf, fish and chips is a long way from the menopause, isn't it? Hey ho! This is Britain and it is Silver Surfers. We can get away way with a lot here.

The Pale was on the Western side of Russia. Sorry.
Wilf
3rd Oct 2019
1
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That is so interesting Lionel-many thanks for the enlightenment! Love it!
JenniferA16
29th Sep 2019
3
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It'll be more difficult for older women to get jobs if this is enacted.
GordonS57
28th Sep 2019
3
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Allowance should be made in the working day if a person is having a particular bad time. Help and understanding from managers would be a great help. Not sure you would ever need a day off but flexibility in the work place is a must especially for toilet breaks to be able to just move away from your desk. Also understanding with mind fogs so maybe being slower than younger colleagues would be great .
Felix1
28th Sep 2019
3
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Discrimination again. I did not want the world to know my personal problems.
Pauline52
27th Sep 2019
3
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'Women’s problem' were the reason that women couldn’t get equal opportunities. We fought hard to prove that we were capable of working and we’re now hearing that isn’t so; women need special consideration.

I’m all for everyone having the opportunity to choose their lifestyle; if you can’t manage the job you’re doing for any reason you choose a different job.
jeanmark
28th Sep 2019
2
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Pauline52 that appears a little hard if you are at the peak of your career. I agree most women do not need 'special' consideration, just consideration for what they may be going through. Yes, we have fought hard for equality, but there are those of us who have always considered we are equal anyway and have never let our gender tell us differently as we progressed through our lives!
jeanmark
27th Sep 2019
3
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Interesting the comments on here from a number of women who just say take medication and get on with it. What happens if you are unable to take medication, must you continue to suffer just because others before you 'just got on with it'? We all know women who sail through the menopause and those who have a degree of discomfort, but I have met many women who are suicidal as a result of their symptoms and become housebound because they feel so embarrassed. Should we not be giving our support to such women? I worked in a predominately female profession and I am well aware of staffing issues relating to pregnancies, but surely it shouldn't stop us from showing some understanding for those women at the other end of the scale who are suffering.
Lionel
27th Sep 2019
4
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Well said Jeanmark. Although this is very much a woman's issue I do have just a little experience here.

My first wife suffered horribly every month and when the menopause came around she ceased her part time job because her menopausal symptoms were so severe she could no longer carry on. It was sheer agony and frustration for her.

In terms she all but became housebound, so sensitive was she to what people might think. Mercifully it didn't last years and years, just a couple as I recall. But that must have been the worst time of her life; perhaps second only to getting off Valium 10.

Yes, particularly men must show considerably more understanding for these ladies and of course, if absence from work is needed, then it happens.

But, as somebody has already pointed out, such kindness of mind could be abused frequently.
Rosedeb
27th Sep 2019
1
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Any mention of reversing the rise in pension age, think that would be more popular with both men and women
Kes
27th Sep 2019
5
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Cheap shot at trying to get some votes at the next GE. Some employers need to be a bit more understanding granted, but it doesn’t need legislation. Of all the things that should be legislated for, that isn’t one.
SusanneJ5
27th Sep 2019
2
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What a load of snowflakes. Yes, I did suffer from menopausal systems but you just have to get on with it. What will be next?
Billythequiche
27th Sep 2019
5
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If the symptoms are bad enough, normal sick rules should apply. If like "man flu" or just an excuse for a "sicky" then no; but what do I know, I'm just a man>
ElisabethR
27th Sep 2019
2
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Madness......if you are really 'ill with the menopause then your doctor will sign you off. If you are getting a specific amount of time off what would it be? Unlike after pregnacy you can have up to a year off....menopause can last a very great time longer than that.
It's almost as stupid as opening the barriers of our country and inviting all and sundry to enter!
Lunarcat
27th Sep 2019
2
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I had the most horrendous menopause, I had to take at least 2-3 changes of clothes, towels shower stuff and hairdryer.
My hot flushes were that bad my clothes would be soaked an my hair would be plastered to my face!
This was 3-4 times a week for years.
Awful and embarrassing but I had to work.
I tried every form of HRT and was eventually under a Consultant and for 2 years after a Merena coils and tablets it got better.
Then I collapsed and it was found my uterus was riddled with tumours and I had huge fibroids tangled in my bowel.
Major abdominal surgery for hysterectomy and 3 months later I feel like a human being again.
It was 15 years of hell, it’s no joke or minor thing for some women!
Pauline52
27th Sep 2019
5
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No, it’s no joke - but your case was clearly extreme. We have sick leave for this kind of thing. Why does it need extra legislation?
WellMan
27th Sep 2019
4
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If anyone has the slightest notion of the actual acute physiological and emotional occurrences involved in menopause they would know how dangerously difficult normal functions and activity is. All the systems and cognative judgements are far more adversely deplete than alcohol can bring about.

Women have and do deal with it since humans evolved. BUT; for millions of years within caring close supporting tribes and villages. Not isolated in a world filled with inhuman rhetoric filled with malice to have others suffer.

We are all unique and different and those who suffer may well be aware of that when others are unable to usefully and constructively empathise and proffer support.

Without the tremendous physical and emotional turmoil and upheaval by every female encountering the life giving monthly cycle including menopuase human life would never have survived
and thrived.

As a male I respect that and greatly value womens strength and enudrance they must encounter in order to bring new life into our world.

BUT reading some of these comments and obvious lack of respect and consideration for humans I wonder if it is a world worthy of new life.

We all live in a world far removed from the cave folk as we lack their close support and care but we should know a lot more about life than they did. A life that does not require toxic and hazardous drugs that has killed and maimed millions in the name of healthy profits.
violetM
27th Sep 2019
2
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It used to be don’t employ women because of maternity leave, which was a lot less that now. Now it will be don’t employ women because of menopausal issues. Now this can’t involve men!
It ridiculous. Get on with it.
Mary Lincoln
27th Sep 2019
2
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Sorry but the answer is no. In my generation we had to get on with it, pain or no pain. If firms start letting women have time of then,it will snowball. There are a lot of women who will be thinking "l will have a few days off and say it's period pains " Take a paracetamol.
BabsF5
28th Sep 2019
1
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I used to suffer with seriously bad period pains......I still went to work, but because it was so bad I used to end up in the medical department lying on a bed with a hot water bottle against my tummy.....absolutely horrible.....funnily enough I didn’t suffer with menopausal symptoms because I was on HRT...
Mary Lincoln
28th Sep 2019
1
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This was the same for me, my mum would ,at times, call the Dr as she thought I had appendix. I was also on HRT as by the time l was in my 40s l was having trouble with my back. Hence no menopause.
MrsPat
27th Sep 2019
3
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This is an interesting one. On the one hand if women feel unwell maybe they shouldn't be at work, however what about small business owners and shop keepers etc? They will less staff due to illness. We managed in our day.
Poppyrose
27th Sep 2019
5
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No! so if they are having a bad time they can effectively finish work in their 40's right through to whenever, bonkers. As Val Stebbing said, if they are having a bad time take medication. Women have gone through the menopause for hundreds of thousands of years - get on with it.
Marley444
27th Sep 2019
5
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Whilst I think it is a good thing that we are able to freely discuss a topic that has historically been taboo, I wonder if this is not going to cause more discrimination in the work place. One minute women want equality which is a good thing, and then it appears we are asking to be treated differently. I think the world is getting very confused at the moment, with the advent of multiple gender recognition and gender fluidity. Us older generation are having to learn a whole new language and practise a new modern view point. Not quite sure how this will end???
Val Stebbing
27th Sep 2019
3
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They shouldn't need time off, if they are having a bad time they take medication, if they aren't having a bad time they don't need time off.
Marley444
27th Sep 2019
3
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Absolutely Val - simple solution and very well said.
jeanmark
28th Sep 2019
1
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And if they are unable to take medication, what then?

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