A step forward in the workplace;
iGO4, the digital insurance business, is covering the cost of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for those colleagues who need it, and has signed the Menopause Workplace pledge, demonstrating its commitment to recognising the impact of menopause and support for those who are affected.
The company is among the few UK employers to compensate associated NHS prescriptions for its team, joining Boots the Chemists and service retailer, Timpson, in paying for the treatment designed to replace hormones that are at a lower level when women typically reach menopause at middle age.
In addition to its progressive policy benefitting its 60% female workforce, iGO4 has set-up a dedicated in-house group, tasked with educating all colleagues about the transition and hosting virtual discussion cafés as part of its internal communications campaign. It is also bringing in comprehensive awareness training for its teams.
iGO4 founder and CEO, Matt Munro, is driving the company’s cultural shift. He explains: “Menopause is a personal subject, but talking about it openly is important if we want to increase understanding and break the societal taboo – and the key to achieving this is to include both men and women in the conversation.
“Some might think it’s unusual to involve men when it’s outside a healthcare setting. However, it’s particularly unhelpful that something affecting nearly all women remains a taboo subject in the workplace, especially with research suggesting that almost a million have quit their jobs due to menopause and a lack of support. This is what we need to change.”
The initiative will also help to offset the ongoing cost of living crisis, with a HRT prescription in England currently £9.35, or double for two types of hormonal treatment. A number of cycles are usually prescribed each year, meaning costs can quickly add up.
Whilst available on the NHS in Scotland and in Wales, plans to significantly reduce the cost in England stalled earlier this year when it was announced the move to an annual subscription of just £18.70 – a welcome saving of up to £205 – would be delayed until April 2023. It had been anticipated that the change would come to fruition ‘within months’ of the Department of Health and Social Care’s communication, last October.
Munro continues: “It’s about changing the way we think and talk about the subject and educating our team to handle it sensitively when it does arise. For example, rather than managers performance managing someone, they can understand the reasons behind any issues and work toward a collaborative solution, involving other parties, such as GPs, as needed.
“All of our colleagues should feel comfortable asking for help when they need it and we have a responsibility to engender this culture. We hope that iGO4 leading by example will encourage other businesses to follow suit.”