What can we do to help?
We are here to support you, and we realise that seeking help may in itself be difficult.
If you are experiencing the menopause and are finding that work isn’t making the adjustments you need, or that you are falling victim to overzealous attendance management or anything that’s making your work life difficult, speak to a rep and we will push to make work bearable.
As a trade union we hold a moral imperative to ensure we are looking after our members, and ensure that they are treated fairly, which is why the NEC in 2019 adopted a Menopause strategy to ensure our members are receiving the support they need.
The employer holds a duty of care under Health & Safety laws. The employer must ensure the Health & Safety of all of their employees: This includes conducting risk assessments not just on work activities but also groups of workers at particular risk – this would reasonably include women experiencing the menopausal transition who may present specific risks such as sleep deprivation and panic attacks.
There is also a potential duty under the Equality Act 2010 – since the menopause transition only affects women (see explanation on wider definitions within what is the menopause section) and detrimental treatment of a woman experiencing the menopause transition could be classified as either direct or indirect discrimination under the Act.
Also covered by the Equality Act 2010 – if the symptoms experienced by a woman undergoing the menopause transition are having a significant impact upon their ability to carry out day activities over a substantial time (normally 12 months +)- then the woman may be protected under sections on disability within the Act.
Current case law resides with Merchant v BT plc 2012, where the tribunal upheld the employee’s claim of direct sex discrimination when her employer failed to deal with her menopause symptoms in the same way that it would have dealt with other medical conditions. Subsequently in 2018 another case found that the employer had discriminated against the employee on the grounds of disability.