Landmark Menopause Workplace Tribunal Begins

A woman who launched legal action against her former employer claiming the company discriminated against her when she experienced menopause symptoms began what is expected to be a 16-day tribunal hearing this week, according to The Independent.

Maria Rooney, a former social worker based in Leicester, said nobody supported her when she began experiencing anxiety linked to her work and menopausal symptoms.

The 52-year-old, whose case will be heard by an employment tribunal this week, said she “felt let down” and “betrayed” as she warned her employers “had no compassion” or knowledge about the menopause. Her former employer, Leicester City Council, told the newspaper it was unable to comment as the hearing was ongoing.

Menopause Support founder Diane Danzebrink has known of the case for some years and was quoted in the Independent story. She paid tribute to Maria Rooney for bringing the case.

“Whilst menopause awareness has improved considerably over the past few years, and some employers have made great strides in supporting those experiencing menopause, there is still a long way to go to ensure that everyone has the right support in the workplace.” Diane said.

“At Menopause Support we hear from thousands of women every year, and sadly we still hear from those who have felt that they had no choice but to leave the workplace due to a lack of understanding and support. I can’t imagine how many teachers, social workers and health care professionals we have lost to the workforce during perimenopause and beyond over the past few years but we hear from lots of them. It is not unusual for me to hear that whilst their own job is to care for others they often don’t feel cared for by managers during menopause.

“I have been aware of Maria’s case for several years now and I applaud her for using her own experience to highlight the issue of women leaving the workplace due to a lack of support. We urgently need national menopause workplace guidance from the government for all employers, and a national public health campaign for menopause to ensure that everyone understands it and can provide appropriate support both personally and professionally when needed” she added.