Boots UK will cover the cost of Hormone Replacement Treatment (HRT) prescriptions for its team members from April, the multiple has said.
The move could offer greater support to the 8,600 Boots’ team members currently experiencing menopause by removing prescription costs and saving individuals £224 per year, Boots suggested.
Boots has estimated that around 15% of its workforce will ‘likely’ receive HRT in England.
Announcing the move earlier today (21 March), the multiple said it was dedicated to offering ‘greater support to women experiencing menopause’ by creating a more ‘inclusive and open workplace culture’.
Boots’ own research found that symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, fatigue, and low moods can affect an individual's career, to the extent that some women leave employment altogether because they don’t get the support they need.
Ben Horner, HR director at Boots, said: ‘I am delighted to announce that Boots is breaking down the barriers to accessing HRT medication and that we will offer this significant support option to team members who may be experiencing menopausal symptoms.
‘Women make up the majority of our Boots workforce, and we are focused on offering the support that will work best for them as they navigate this important life transition and other health concerns.’
A ‘menopause friendly employer’
As part of its mission to become a more ‘menopause friendly employer’ Boots has launched a range of initiatives and support packages aimed at helping staff experiencing menopause.
These initiatives include online counselling sessions, discounted access to an online doctor and a menopause network where team members to learn more about the menopause, share experiences, and offer confidential connection and support.
‘We’re delighted to see the broad range of initiatives Boots is putting in place,’ said Deborah Garlick, CEO of Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace, which provides training for employers on menopause and how to take it seriously in the workplace.
‘From getting the conversation out into the open, helping their colleagues understand that they’re there for them if menopause gets in the way of them being their best, backed-up by this ground-breaking support is superb.
‘This will help so many people, whatever their role, wherever they work in the organisation.’
In February, the MHRA launched a public consultation on whether to reclassify HRT medication Gina 10 microgram vaginal tablets from a POM to a P, which would allow women to access it in a pharmacy without a prescription from their GP.
This comes after the Government decided to make HRT cheaper and easier to access, back in October.