‘It is so tragic’: Myleene Klass argues for statutory menopause leave and says it should not be a women’s-only problem as she tries to get bill passed
Myleene Klass has said she thinks it is ‘so tragic’ that the statutory menopause leave bill has not been passed through government and says women should not just have to ‘get on with it’.
The TV presenter and host, 44, appeared on Jeremy Vine to debate the topic of women getting menopause leave with their employers, and said that female reproductive health ‘seems to be put on the backburner’.
She also compares the health woes women experience between the ages of 45-55 to people going through health issues and getting sick leave, saying that the government should give it serious consideration because a huge chunk of the workforce is affected.
‘Tragic’: Myleene Klass has said she thinks it is ‘so tragic’ that the statutory menopause leave bill has not been passed through government and says women should not just have to ‘get on with it’
Debating the topic alongside Daily Mail associate editor Andrew Pierce, Myleene says: ‘I just think it is so tragic that now we do have women in parliament who can make these changes or certainly push them through – and anything to do with female reproductive health just seems to be put on the backburner.
‘It’s just something that we’ve all got to live with, we’ve got on with it this far and we should just continue to do so.
‘And just because generations before us just got on with it, it is not how it should be running.
‘The fact that this takes out 900,000 women every single year from the workplace, something absolutely has to be addressed and that’s right across the board.
Debate: The TV presenter and host, 44, appeared on Jeremy Vine to debate the topic of women getting menopause leave with their employers, and said that female reproductive health ‘seems to be put on the backburner’
‘I’ve experienced this as you know, trying to pass a bill to look after women and families in miscarriage.
‘Now it’s also happening with menopause, it’s just not being taken seriously by the very people that it’s going to affect.
Jeremy asks, ‘So at the moment employers don’t have to do anything to take account?’
‘Well this is just a pilot scheme,’ Myleene explains. ‘It wasn’t even actually to have something definitive, it was just to see, “let’s see how this runs”, if there are any menopausal symptoms that are genuinely affecting a woman’s capabilities at work, then lets address them.
‘But here’s the thing, we remove the word menopause for a second, if someone was struggling at work for anything to do with health issues, that should be addressed.
Priority: She also compares the health woes women experience between the ages of 45-55 to people going through health issues and getting sick leave, saying that the government should give it serious consideration because a huge chunk of the workforce is affected
‘Backburner’: Debating the topic alongside Daily Mail associate editor Andrew Pierce, Myleene says: ‘I just think it is so tragic that now we do have women in parliament who can make these changes or certainly push them through’
‘As soon as you put menopause in front of it, it becomes women’s problems. It’s everyone’s problem.’
Andrew Pierce responds by saying: ‘I gathered that one of the reasons the government is against it is that it will discriminate against men.’
Myleene quips: ‘Those poor men! Having a hard time again! Don’t know how they cope.’
Andrew laughs, adding: ‘If there was a menopausal leave for women, I would not feel hard done by as a man, because guess what? We don’t suffer the menopause. Women get a bleak deal, much bleaker than men.
Debate: Myleene explained that menopause ‘takes out 900,000 women every single year’ from the workplace and says ‘something absolutely has to be addressed’
Counter: Andrew Pierce responds by saying: ‘I gathered that one of the reasons the government is against it is that it will discriminate against men’
‘My only issue about this would be, I’m just thinking about some small trader who is watching this programme today, and is gonna think “She can have a day off if she’s got problems with the menopause”, but this is going to give a statutory 12 days.
‘So some women could abuse it because they don’t have menopausal symptoms. But will those 12 days be very difficult for people running small businesses who think, “My god! I’m already up against it – I’ll let her have a day off if she needs it – that’s the area I would have a concern.’
Myleene adds: ‘But the fact that a man is deciding if she’s having a bad day-‘ before Andrew interrupts to say that it could be a woman running a small business and stuck in the predicament.
She continued: ‘As I said, it affects us all. What would you do if somebody was having a bad day?’ Andrew says that you would just have sick leave.
Sarcastic: The TV host then quips: ‘Those poor men! Having a hard time again! Don’t know how they cope’
Devil’s advocate: Jeremy asked Myleene what she thought about employers not taking on women of a certain age if menopause leave passes through government, she says it ‘should be illegal’ to not employ someone for that reason
But the radio host replied: ‘And it’s as simple as that, it should be taken as seriously as something that has a huge impact on so many women.’
‘Not all women suffer this, I’ve got friends who seem to be doing okay or managing it because either they’ve got HRT or they’ve got other provisions in place and I’ve had some people, who it’s been debilitating for them, extreme depression, all manner of other challenges.
‘So we need to be seen to be taken this seriously and then have provisions in place where the entire workforce – you know a lot of these women if you think of the age that women are going through the menopause.
Doting mother: A working mum, Myleene has three children, daughters Ava, 14, Hero, 10, and Apollo, three (pictured with fiancé Simon Motson, 46)
‘It’s actually the point where they’ve got the most experience when it comes to work, when they can make the biggest difference in the workplace and actually their value should be more than recognised at that point instead of eradicating them.’
If a woman of that age is looking for work, and the employer, he or she takes them on, they will be liable, to give menopause leave, they may not take them on?
‘We’re not talking years of menopause leave, you can take on a man who’s going through-‘ Jeremy then asks again, what she thinks if they don’t want to take them on.
Myleene says: ‘Well that should be illegal. And also, the same thing comes into women of childbearing age as well, and certainly I have come up against those challenges, and also personal challenges with baby loss or other things that impact women.
‘It still involves the men, it isn’t just a woman’s problem.’
In October 2020 Myleene revealed had suffered four miscarriages before giving birth to her ‘rainbow baby’ son Apollo, three.
Radio DJ Myleene, who, in addition to son Apollo, is mother to daughters Ava, 14, and Hero, 10, said she told her friends who have also had miscarriages what she had learned in a bid to comfort them.
Candid: Myleene revealed she suffered four miscarriages before giving birth to her ‘rainbow baby’, son Apollo
Myleene spoke out on her miscarriages last year when she fronted a documentary on the matter for W Magazine.
She lifted the lid on her mental health battle following the ordeal, in which she experienced ‘grief, trauma, sadness and fear’
‘I lost a lot of me,’ she admitted in the heart-wrenching film. ‘I couldn’t talk about it for a year, I couldn’t even say the word.
‘It is one word, but it is grief, it is trauma, it is sadness, it is fear. There must be a reason people can’t say it,’ she questioned.
Recovering from grief: Myleene previously said she found ‘peace’ after her four heartbreaking miscarriages when she learned her unborn child’s DNA is forever in her body
The reality star has encouraged others to speak about their pregnancy losses, in order to normalise the experience.
On Jeremy Vine, Andrew tells Myleene that ‘Jeremy is living in the real world’, and Myleene argues: ‘I am living in the real world!
‘I am a working mother and I’m also a woman who brings home – I’m a breadwinner – who has to consider all of these options and the fact that you’re going to eradicate the working women at a point when they are so valuable.’
Jeremy adds that it might just make women of a certain age less employable.
Motherhood: The star said she ‘felt I’d failed my baby and my partner’ when she suffered her first miscarriage, before eventually falling pregnant with Apollo (pictured)
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