It was great to meet with representatives from Ban the Box earlier this week as part of the Industry and Parliamentary Trust scheme. Ban the Box want to see the tick box relating to previous criminal offences removed from application forms and have employers ask for this information at a later date. With the tick box on application forms, the fear is that those with a criminal conviction, however minor and however long ago, are not being given a second chance at life. People serve their sentences, they pay their fines, they do their community service; automatically excluding them from finding work later is cruel and does nothing to help people reintegrate into society or rebuild their lives. We risk continuing to punish people after they have served their sentence – this is surely unfair and counter-productive. To find out more about the Ban the Box campaign, visit the Recruit! website.
I was pleased to join the team on Women’s Hour this week to discuss the Menopause Revolution and the latest policy around HRT. In response to the Bill I put forward to Parliament, the government have announced a reduction in the cost of HRT prescriptions for women in England. Prescriptions are already free in Wales and Scotland, but women in England have previously had to pay, sometimes hundreds of pounds a year. I will also co-chair a Menopause Taskforce with Maria Caulfield, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Patient Safety and Primary Care. I look forward to working with Maria and the rest of the team to revolutionise menopause support in this country and to bring in changes to how we view and manage the menopause for individuals and as a society, to ensure that women can continue to enjoy life and contribute to their communities and workplaces in all their wonderful and amazing ways.
It’s great to see the impact that the Menopause Revolution is already having on workplaces up and down the country. As the Bill was being debated in Parliament on Friday, Kellogg’s announced that it would be putting in place measures to provide more support to staff experiencing the menopause, pregnancy loss, or fertility treatment. Under their plans, managers will receive extra training to help them talk about these issues in the workplace and to support employees who reach out for support. I have also been contacted by Holland and Barratt this week and it is great to see the list of companies taking this issue seriously starting to grow. It’s so important that employees do feel able to approach their line managers with any problems and that there is support available to help them through. We want to see more and more organisations following suit and being proud to be Menopause Friendly workplaces.
It was fantastic to visit the local Morriston and Morfa Detachments of Army Cadets this week. I met Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAV’s) and Cadets and watched them do their parade drills and it was great to hear them talk about their activities and plans for the future. Not all Army Cadets go into the military after school, but the skills that they learn and the confidence that they build enable them to adapt to other study and work environments. Young people who join the cadets take part in exciting activities including adventure training, first aid, music, and sports. They make great friends, get to travel around the UK and even abroad, and learn skills for the Army Proficiency Certificate in leadership, discipline, making decisions under pressure, organisation, and working effectively both as a team player and individually. Visit the website to find out more about local Army Cadet detachments.
You can keep up to date with Welsh Government announcements and information on their dedicated coronavirus page.
As always, if you have any issues or concerns to raise with me as your local MP, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – my team and I are here to help.