A total of 23 employment tribunals cited the menopause in 2021, a 44% increase on 2020 figures according to an analysis of court records by Menopause Experts Group in its annual ‘The trial of menopause’ report.
The research looked into how women are treated in the workplace when going through the menopause. It found that the word was mentioned 207 times in tribunals in 2021, up 75% from 118 mentions in 2020.
The number of cases citing menopause and mentions of the condition has risen year-on-year since 2017, where only five cases cited it and there were seven mentions.
Of those cases involving the menopause in 2021, 16 cited disability discrimination, with 10 claiming sex discrimination and 14 claiming unfair dismissal.
Two-fifths of menopause employment tribunals were resolved within a month of the hearing, but three cases took more than two years.
As an example, the research found that one claimant, who told her employer she suffering hot flushes due to the condition, was reprimanded for undoing her top button.
Dee Murray, founder and chief executive officer at Menopause Experts Group, stated that too many employers without robust menopause policies have put themselves at risk of legal action from workers, warning: “This simply must change to protect women and prevent legal action that can be costly both financially and in terms of reputation.”
She added: “Employers are starting to get the message about menopause in the workplace, but the growing number of employment tribunals in this area show that there’s still a lot of work to be done. We are here at Menopause Experts Group calling on employers to offer their employees training about the symptoms, signs, and side effects of it. This will work alongside a robust policy that all employers should be aware of requiring.”