High street chain Timpson has announced it will pay for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) prescriptions for staff going through the menopause.
James Timpson, the chief executive of the shoe repair and key-cutting business, said employees can claim expenses for prescription costs when they are recommended for HRT from Monday, to mark World Menopause Day.
He said: "From today all my colleagues can claim on expenses their prescription costs when they are recommended HRT.
"It’s so important that we support our colleagues going through the menopause. #menopauseday"
From today all my colleagues can claim on expenses their prescription costs when they are recommended HRT. It’s so important that we support our colleagues going through the menopause. #menopauseday
— James Timpson (@JamesTCobbler) October 18, 2021
The move was praised by Labour MP for Swansea East Carolyn Harris, who is campaigning for HRT prescription charges for menopausal women to be scrapped in England.
She said: “James you are a wonderful man and company”.
James you are a wonderful man and company x https://t.co/dgWGSaHIRI
— Carolyn Harris MP (@carolynharris24) October 18, 2021
The announcement was also backed by Labour MP Jess Phillips who said: “Honestly Timpsons are such a lovely company.”
The Menopause Charity said they were “delighted” by the decision which will “increase awareness of the impact of the menopause”.
The charity’s interim chief executive, Jenny Haskey, added: “With over 13 million people in the UK are currently menopausal, we know that 1.6 million sick days are lost to symptoms every year, with an estimated 900,000 women leaving work entirely due to the impact of the menopause.
“We firmly believe prescription charges should not be a barrier to women accessing HRT, that is why The Menopause Charity is backing the Menopause Support Bill so that women in England benefit from free prescriptions as they do in England and Wales.”
HRT is a treatment to relieve symptoms of menopause by replacing the oestrogen and progesterone hormones that a woman's body no longer produces.
Prescriptions are free in Wales and Scotland, while patients in England currently pay £9.34 for each item.
The most common form of HRT medication is a daily tablet, but it can also be taken via applying a skin patch or gel medication to the skin or a small pellet under the skin.
World Menopause Day is held every year on October 18 and aims to raise awareness of the menopause and support options available for improving health and wellbeing.