MPs from across the political spectrum have called for a large scale pilot of menopause leave as they warned a lack of support was forcing women out of the workforce.

The Women and Equalities Committee, which is chaired by Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, said menopause should become a “protected characteristic” under the Equalities Act like pregnancy.

It called on the Government to appoint a “menopause ambassador” and develop a leave scheme with a large public sector employer “with a strong public profile”.

In the committee's report it said: “Women of menopausal age are the fastest growing group in the workforce and are staying in work for longer than ever before.

Redhill And Reigate Life: The MPs said menopause should become a protected characteristic in the Equalities Act (PA)The MPs said menopause should become a protected characteristic in the Equalities Act (PA)

“Yet these experienced and skilled role models often receive little support with menopause symptoms.

“As a result, some cut back their hours or responsibilities. Others leave work altogether.

“We call on the Government to lead the way for businesses by appointing a Menopause Ambassador who will champion good practice.”

What is menopause?

The NHS website states: "Menopause is when your periods stop due to lower hormone levels. This usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55.

This can cause symptoms such as "anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, hot flushes and irregular periods" which can heavily impact day-to-day life.