Bosses are warned to support women or face action as number of employment tribunals citing menopause surges 

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  • Employment tribunals have emerged that cite menopause, new data shows
  • Menopause was cited in ten cases of tribunals in the first six months of 2021
  • In contrast it was mentioned only five times in the last nine months of 2018.

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The number of employment tribunals citing menopause has increased in recent years – and experts are now warning companies to extend support or face legal action.

According to data from HM Courts and Tribunal Service, menopause was cited in only five cases in the last nine months of 2018, but jumped to ten cases in the first six months of 2021.

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Experts say women are increasingly fending for themselves at menopause-related discrimination and challenging employers who don’t acknowledge or support the symptoms.

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There are more than 5 million working women in the UK aged 40 to 55 and around 80 per cent of them will have symptoms of menopause while on the job.

There are 34 recognized symptoms of menopause, including brain fog, electric shock ‘shock’, itching, decreased libido, joint pain and burning in the mouth, as well as the better-recognized hot flushes and irritability.

The Times reported that in Scotland, a woman claimed that her boss humiliated her in front of co-workers regarding her menopausal symptoms, including an incident where she was called a ‘dinosaur’ in front of clients.

She was awarded £28,000. In another case, 49-year-old social worker Maria Rooney accused Leicester City Council of unfair dismissal.

She claimed that her anxiety and depression were disregarded because of menopause.

Women are increasingly standing up for themselves over menopause-related discrimination, experts say

Women are increasingly standing up for themselves over menopause-related discrimination, experts say

And Aggie Konaka, a recruiting employee, was told by her boss that it was ‘no big deal’ that her cancer diagnosis would trigger early menopause at age 37, another tribunal heard.

The HM Courts and Tribunal Service figures pertain only to cases that were forwarded to a tribunal in England and do not cover a large number of privately settled employment disputes.

According to consultancy Menopause Experts, menopause came up only eight times in employment disputes in 2017, but was mentioned 116 times in the first six months of 2021.

Sinead Casey, partner at Linkletters law firm, said: ‘The menopause revolution is coming – with greater awareness and increased demand for support.

‘Employers need to wake up and leave themselves open to legal risk if they don’t.’

There are more than 5 million working women in the UK aged 40 to 55 and around 80 per cent of them will have symptoms of menopause while on the job.

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