Menopausal at work? The government doesn’t want you – or anyone else – to get the proper support | Zoe Williams

A parliamentary committee made some pretty benign recommendations, only for ministers to nope it all. Their approach is like a devilish trolling operation

I feel as if it’s quite unusual for a parliamentary committee to have all its suggestions rejected by the government, but maybe I’m doing my sums in old money. Last summer, the women and equalities committee made a number of recommendations around menopause support. None of it sounded that major: no mandatory high-voltage air-conditioning units in public venues, no blanket rules on when to, and when not to, bother a menopausal woman with your nonsense, nothing like that. Just some basic workplace support from larger employers – specific menopause leave, more flexibility on sickness policy, a move to make the menopause a protected characteristic, so that there would be a statutory duty to make reasonable adjustments for it.

This week, ministers noped all of it, except to agree “in principle” to a public awareness campaign, a move weak and pointless in the abstract, and teeth-grindingly asinine when you imagine what that campaign would look like. Babyish fonts on a pink background, some 27-year-old-comms-professional-devised slogan telling you it’s OK not to feel OK. It’s like some devilish trolling operation: these menopausal women say they’re so angry they could set fire to furniture using only their white-hot eyeballs. Let’s put that to the test.

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