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menopause related absence in the workplace

How To Deal With Menopause Related Absence In The Workplace

Does your company have specialist menopause-related policies, and have your staff been trained in how to approach conversations in relation to menopause?

If the answer to either of those questions was no, your company could be vulnerable to an employment tribunal claim.

A recent case involving menopause has dominated employment law headlines, and the impact of Anderson v Thistle Marine may be cause for concern for many business owners.

In this case, Mrs Anderson was absent from work due to experiencing menopause-related symptoms, her employer questioned her absence, describing her symptoms as “aches and pains”. This comment proved costly for the employer when Mrs Anderson took her grievance to the Employment Tribunal who awarded her £37,000 in compensation.

So, what would you do if one of your employees was frequently absent from work due to experiencing menopause symptoms?

Failure to adequately deal with the situation could have massive financial implications for your business. Considering that an estimated 8 out of 10 women in the workplace are currently going through the menopause, failure to adequately deal with menopause related absence or accommodations may well cause a ripple like effect throughout your business, with the possibility of huge compensation payouts on the grounds of discrimination, along with significant reputational damage. Add to that the stress of dealing with such claims and the massive time commitment of an employment tribunal this is something you want to avoid.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take: consider reviewing and updating your sickness and absence policies, ensure your staff have received equality and diversity training, and consider offering wellbeing initiatives to support staff in order to take a proactive approach.


If you are concerned that your company policies may not be up to date or would simply like to discuss what your business can do to become more proactive when it comes to discussions relating to menopause, please feel free to contact us for a no-obligation call with our dedicated employment law team on 01246 932 100 or contact us here.

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