Menopause at work
Tina Chander asks if women are legally protected.
Generally speaking, UK employment law protects those suffering from chronic illness or disability in the workplace, but how does this translate to women going through the menopause?
In recent times, there have been some high-profile menopause tribunal cases, and employers are becoming more aware of their legal obligations to employees who are suffering with perimenopausal and menopause symptoms.
According to research from the group ‘Menopause Experts’, the number of claims relating to the menopause has increased from six in 2019, to 16 in 2020, with a further 10 being launched in the first six months of 2021.
This increase in menopause-related employment tribunals demonstrates the need for businesses to be proactive to avoid finding themselves in court facing discrimination claims. Equally, women who feel they have been unfairly treated should act accordingly to address the situation.
How the menopause can affect the workplace
Typically, the menopause lasts between four and eight years, during which time, around 30-60 per cent of women will encounter intermittent physical and/or psychological symptoms, which can have a significant impact on the daily lives of sufferers.