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Menopausal employee was entitled to bring disability and sex discrimination, harassment and victimisation claims

A recent case has highlighted the challenges facing many menopausal women in the workplace, including the difficulties they can experience in establishing that their menopausal symptoms should be classed as a disability under the Equality Act 2010.

An employee set out an extensive list of her menopausal symptoms and how they had an adverse effect on her daily activities. The tribunal dismissed the employee’s claims for harassment, victimisation and disability and sex discrimination. The tribunal’s justification for this decision was that the employee’s symptoms only had a minor effect on her daily activities, which they believed was insufficient to amount to a disability under the Equality Act 2010.

However, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held the tribunal erred in its judgment as it had not fully evaluated or considered the employee’s claims and evidence. The tribunal had also not fully explained why it dismissed the employee’s claims. The EAT referred the employee’s claims to a differently constituted tribunal.