Regular readers of TravlawHR will be aware that with the increased numbers of working women going through the menopause and the greater awareness of the menopause and peri-menopause through various media campaigns and of course within the travel industry #traveltalksmenopause, that the number of workplaces discussion on the subject were likely to increase. In the main, these have been positive and open discussions, but of course this is not always the case and we are now seeing that menopause related tribunal claims are on the rise.
In 2021, there were 23 cases that mentioned the menopause, an increase of 44% on the previous year, when there were just 16. At present menopause is not a standalone protected characteristic in itself under the Equality Act 2010, although there are campaigns for it to be so. In order to bring a claim in the employment tribunal either a claim for sex discrimination or disability discrimination has to be made, and menopause tagged under those heads. It is worth mentioning that of the 23 cases in 2021, 16 included claims for disability discrimination, 14 included claims for unfair dismissal and 10 included claims for sex discrimination. Mentions of the word “menopause” increased by 75% in tribunal documents, which goes to show that the greater awareness and volume of those going through the menopause is a real workplace issue.
It has been suggested that the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee should advocate for a requirement that all employers have a menopause policy. Modern and forward thinking employers do not need to wait until menopause policies become compulsory. Delaying in taking action will mean that you may lose top talent who do not feel supported. Consider offering your workforce training about symptoms, signs and side effects of the menopause, particularly so when they manage others. There is a whole manner of ways in which menopause support can be offered in the workplace, including menopause related tribunal claims. If you would like assistance in creating a “Menopause at work” policy, please get in touch.
For help and advice on employment issues within the travel industry, contact;
0113 258 0033