Timpson becomes first UK company to pay for menopause prescriptions

·2 min read
Hormone Replacement Therapy - Getty Images Contributor
Hormone Replacement Therapy - Getty Images Contributor

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) will be free for Timpson employees after the company became the first in the UK to offer to pay for their staff’s menopause prescriptions.

James Timpson, the chief executive of the high street retailer, said all staff would be able to claim back the costs of their prescription.

“It’s so important that we support our colleagues going through the menopause,” Mr Timpson said.

It comes as MPs, celebrities and businesses have called on the Prime Minister to end prescription charges for HRT.

Carolyn Harris, Labour MP for Swansea East, has sponsored a private member’s bill calling for drugs to be exempt, it will have its second reading in Parliament later this month.

HRT can be taken monthly or every three months, and costs £9.35 per prescription.

Estimates suggest over 13 million women in the UK are either menopausal or perimenopausal.

The letter, organised by the APPG on menopause, said: “Despite HRT being free of charge to those in Scotland and Wales who have a prescription, those going through menopause and wanting to access HRT in England have to pay to access this essential treatment.”

Sir John Timpson - Paul Cooper
Sir John Timpson - Paul Cooper

Signatories of the letter include Davina McCall, Cherie Blair and Gabby Logan, along with business leaders and doctors.

“It’s not just women and all those experiencing it who are affected by menopause – partners, family, friends, and colleagues can all feel the impact of these debilitating symptoms,” it read.

The letter called on Boris Johnson to take the opportunity to “make this right”.

“We urge you to back this bill and deliver what will undoubtedly be a much heralded and revolutionary change for women and their families,” it said.

Timpson said it will reimburse colleagues for the prescription costs for any HRT treatment they choose to try.

The company, which has been praised for its pre-release prison training schemes, has around 5,000 employees of which two-fifths are women.

Responding to Timpson’s announcement, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, Ms Harris said: “I am absolutely delighted that Timpson's have announced today, on World Menopause Day, that they will allow employees to claim back HRT prescription charges on expenses.

“This is testament to what a fantastic employer they are and how strongly they care about the welfare of their staff.”

It comes after a survey found around one in eight women quit their job because of menopause symptoms.

The research, presented at the Royal College of GPs' annual conference last week, also found around 60 per cent of women took time off work due to their symptoms.

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