Menopause discrimination cases are on the rise - it’s time to act
Employment tribunals involving menopause increased by 44% in 2021, as women claim their employers are not taking reasonable enough measures to support them. Now is the time for employers to act and start implementing guidance for women, but also raise awareness in the workplace in general.
Menopause is a natural part of the aging process
There are currently 13 million women in the UK either peri- or post-menopausal and 1 in 4 will experience severe debilitating symptoms, including hot flushes, loss of sleep, pain and mood swings.
According to a recent article on Bloomberg.com, 23 tribunal cases referenced menopause in 2021, compared to 16 the previous year. The word menopause mentioned in other cases, not solely involving it, also increased by a massive 75%.
Data by the Menopause Experts Group, a group that provides menopausal education services and information to help women manage their symptoms, showed almost a fifth of the female workforce who are experiencing symptoms of the menopause are considering leaving their jobs.
Symptoms like pain and loss of sleep are bound to have an impact on the way anyone feels at work - but for women suffering from menopausal symptoms, these can be prolonged and go on for months or even years.
But, despite the menopause negatively affecting so many women, why are employers still getting things wrong?
Time to tackle the taboo
It seems as though talking about those symptoms is still not happening, as 73% of women suffering from some kind of symptom as a result of menopause don’t seek help or treatment.
The UK government is set to publish the results of an inquiry looking into the discrimination of menopausal women in the workplace, which could recommend workplaces put menopause policies in place.
Join our Menopause in the workplace webinar
Downs Solicitors can help.
On 22nd June our expert employment lawyers, David Seals and Heather Love, will be running a free to attend webinar providing employers with information to raise awareness at work.
David and Heather will also talk through what women could be experiencing and how to provide appropriate support, as well as dispelling myths and flagging the potential legal claims available to menopausal women who feel mistreated in the workplace.