Recent research into the effect of the menopause has shown that it generally affects women between the ages of 50 to 64. The time off work due to symptoms caused by menopause results in the loss of 14 million working days annually. Women suffering from menopausal symptoms take time off work and/or work outside of their working hours to make up for the working time lost.
Currently, claims for unfair dismissal, direct sex discrimination and disability related discrimination have been brought. There is scope that possible future claims may be brought for indirect sex and disability discrimination, sex, disability and age-related harassment, victimisation, and failure to make reasonable adjustments. These claims may be costly, lengthy and damaging to an employer’s reputation.
Employers should provide training, encourage open conversations, and elect champions and ambassadors in the workplace to reduce the pressure for women suffering from menopausal symptoms.