In the case of Rooney v Leicester City Council, the Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that an earlier judgment of a Tribunal was incorrect when it did not classify menopausal symptoms as a disability.
This is a new area of law but employers should be mindful that an employee ‘simply’ going through the menopause may well be able to engage the Equality Act (through disability, age or sex protected characteristics) due to suffering from menopausal symptoms.
It is worth of note that a 2019 CIPD and Bupa survey found that three in five menopausal women were negatively affected at work and almost 900,000 had left their jobs as a result of their symptoms.
Can your managers recognise the symptoms?
Can adaptations be put in place? Ventilation? Toilet Facilities?
How will this impact your absence policies?
What about performance management?
Our recommendation to employers is to watch this space as the case law develops but remember to treat each case on its own merits and take a sensitive approach.