Increase in Tribunal claims relating to the Menopause
There are an increasing number of Tribunal claims being brought in relation to the menopause. Whilst the menopause is not specifically protected under the Equality Act 2010, if a worker is treated unfairly because of the menopause this may amount to discrimination on the grounds of one or more of the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment and sex and could also give rise to an unfair dismissal claim.
An employer who treats the impact of menopause symptoms less seriously than it would a male worker’s health condition when considering for example, reduced productivity or job performance as part of a performance management process, could potentially lead to a claim of direct discrimination.
Acas advises that it is a good idea to have a policy specifically for the menopause. Alternatively, this could be provided for in an existing health and safety policy or equality and diversity policy.