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A tribunal has awarded an employee £37,000 in compensation for unfair dismissal and harassment after she was accused of using her menopause symptoms as an “excuse for everything”.


The employee was experiencing serious menopause symptoms resulting in her working from home two days a week. Her symptoms meant she arrived late to work on one occasion and was questioned aggressively by her manager who suggested her menopause symptoms were an “excuse for everything” and referred to her as an “old biddy”. She subsequently raised a grievance and was signed off work. During this time her remote working access was cut off, leading to her resignation.

The tribunal held that the behaviour had violated her dignity and upheld her claims for harassment and unfair dismissal, awarding £37,000 in compensation.

Practical takeaways

Proactive support – supporting employees experiencing menopause symptoms begins with understanding. Everyone is different, so having supportive conversations and securing expert guidance (such as occupational health) means you can provide the employee with the specific support they need.

Raising awareness – it’s currently Menopause Awareness Month so no better opportunity to introduce a menopause policy or shout about the one you’ve got! You can access ours on Intelligent Employment. The more awareness around the topic the easier it is to build a culture of understanding, support those affected, and ensure managers have the confidence to deal with situations appropriately and lawfully.

Training – great policies often fail without training to back them up. Around 77% of businesses still don’t train line managers about menopause. Not only does training raise awareness, but it also shows that you’re serious about support and ensuring your managers are able to give the help where and when it’s needed.

Future guidance – after a series of cases involving the treatment of individuals with menopause symptoms, the Equality and Human Rights Commission will be launching new guidance for employers on supporting employees going through the menopause.

Haven’t yet introduced a menopause policy? We’ve got one ready for you on our Intelligent Employment platform – click here

This update is accurate on the date it was published, but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.