international employment law firm alliance L&E Global
United Kingdom

UK: Health and wellbeing: Menopause

Authors: Frances Ross and Corinna Harris

Ms. Lynskey, who worked as a motor sales consultant for Direct Line in April 2016, received “very good” performance ratings in that role. In March 2020, it was clear from the information she provided to managers that she was profoundly affected by menopausal symptoms, for which she was seeking treatment. She was then moved to a different team, which was considered to be a “better fit” in light of her personal and health circumstances. However, she began underperforming and received a performance rating of “need for improvement. Subsequently, Ms. Lynskey had a warning meeting and disciplinary meetings wherein her health condition was not fully considered. After a period of ill health, her sick pay was stopped, and she subsequently resigned. She brought a number of claims, including disability discrimination. 

The tribunal found that Direct Line did not fully consider the impact of the menopause on Ms. Lynskey and upheld her claims for failure to make reasonable adjustments and disability discrimination relating to her menopausal symptoms. She was awarded £64,645 in compensation. 

Practical Point

This is a tribunal decision, so it will not be binding on other tribunals.  

Employers should recognise that employees struggling with menopausal symptoms may face disadvantages in doing their job and should consider whether adjustments can be made.