Should Menopause Be Considered A Disability At Work?
Symptoms of perimenopause such as severe bleeding, memory loss and anxiety can give rise to a section 6 Equality Act disability – provided the symptoms have a long-term and substantial adverse effect on normal day-to day-activities. A tribunal found that a woman’s employers had both unfairly dismissed her and discriminated against her on grounds of disability, particularly as they had failed to consider her disability’s impact on her conduct. She had a very tough and long battle regarding this claim. This is her statement:
“I am saddened that I had to go down the route an industrial tribunal to draw attention to the injustice I felt from my employer at this time. Despite my GP’s surgery producing documentation in relation to the impact that the peri- menopause has had on me, it wasn’t considered by my employer. I appreciate that there were other issues related to my case that the tribunal had to consider but I’m pleased that the tribunal panel understood the debilitating symptoms that I experienced. I appreciate that every woman is different, but, for me, the hormonal changes I experienced had such a negative impact on my life that I really struggled, physically and mentally, to cope. My GP, practice nurse and the menopause clinic that I attend have been tremendously supportive and I am still seeking the correct treatment for myself -it’s all very much trial and error for me, as one size doesn’t fit all. If my case can encourage others to seek help or talk about these issues, or raise awareness, I am delighted and I urge every woman to talk to others, and ask for professional help. I am looking forward to getting back into a routine and returning to work shortly and I continue to practice yoga which I’ve found works for me.”
She is very clear that she doesn’t ever want this to happen to another female affected by the menopause or perimenopause. This was never about money, it was about proving her employers were wrong to discredit or disbelieve that the perimenopause affects females and often, until treatment is sought, women can’t control our reactions. More information about this case is available here.
Last Updated May 2018