Number of employment tribunals citing menopause surges

Bosses are warned to support women or face action as number of employment tribunals citing menopause surges

  • There’s a rise of employment tribunals which cite menopause, new figures show
  • Menopause was cited in ten case of tribunals s in the first six months of 2021 
  • In contrast it was mentioned only five times in the last nine months of 2018 

The number of employment tribunals citing menopause has surged in recent years – and experts are now warning companies to increase support or face legal action.

Menopause was cited in only five cases in the last nine months of 2018 but jumped to ten mentions in the first six months of 2021, according to figures from HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

Experts say women are increasingly standing up for themselves over menopause-related discrimination and challenging employers who do not acknowledge or offer support for symptoms.

More than five million working women are aged 40 to 55 in Britain and about 80 per cent of those will have symptoms of the menopause while employed

There are 34 recognised menopause symptoms, including brain fog, electric shock ‘jolts’, itchiness, loss of libido, joint pain and a burning mouth, alongside the better-recognised hot flushes and irritability.

In Scotland, one woman claimed her boss humiliated her in front of colleagues in relation to her menopause symptoms, including an incident where she was called a ‘dinosaur’ in front of customers, The Times reported.

She was awarded £28,000. In another case, social worker Maria Rooney, 49, accused Leicester City Council of unfair dismissal.

She claimed her anxiety and depression caused by the menopause were disregarded.

Experts say women are increasingly standing up for themselves over menopause-related discrimination

And Aggie Kownacka, a recruitment worker, was told by her boss that it was ‘no big deal’ that her cancer diagnosis would trigger early menopause at the age of 37, another tribunal heard.

The HM Courts and Tribunals Service figures relate only to cases that were escalated to a tribunal in England and do not cover a vast number of employment disputes settled privately.

The menopause featured only eight times in employment disputes in 2017, but was mentioned 116 times in the first six months of 2021, according to the consultancy Menopause Experts.

‘The menopause revolution is coming – with growing calls for more awareness and support,’ said Sinead Casey, a partner at Linklaters law firm.

‘Employers need to wake up and leave themselves wide open to legal exposure if they don’t.’

More than five million working women are aged 40 to 55 in Britain and about 80 per cent of those will have symptoms of the menopause while employed.

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