Can Menopause Be a Protected Characteristic?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 5 July 2022
Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI
Issues covered: Menopause; Protected Characteristic; Equality

For some employees with menopausal symptoms, this can lead to increased absence and affect work their performance. Menopause is not a protected characteristic in and of itself, however, a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) case, Rooney v Leicester City Council (2021), determined that an employee’s menopausal symptoms amounted to a disability. Whilst this decision is not binding under in Northern Ireland, decisions of the EAT tribunals carry persuasive value in Northern Ireland. Employers should be aware that whilst menopause is not a protected characteristic it may fall under the realms of disability or potentially sex discrimination.

There is an increased focus on female-related

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 05/07/2022

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI

The main content of this article was provided by Chris Fullerton. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email

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