SOPHIE FIRTH SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDS MENOPAUSE-RELATED EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL CLAIMS
Miss A Irwin v Experian Limited 2601913/2020
Sophie Firth has successfully defended Experian Limited against Miss Irwin’s menopause-related Employment Tribunal claims following a 7-day liability hearing. Sophie was instructed by Paul Sands and Demi Fawzi-Perrin of Eversheds Sutherland.
In early 2018, Miss Irwin started to experience (peri)menopausal symptoms. She was held by a Tribunal at a preliminary hearing to be disabled by virtue of those symptoms.
In mid-2018, concerns arose about Miss Irwin’s performance and she was subsequently placed on a performance management plan. In September 2019, she went off sick with stress and returned to work for a short period before resigning in January 2020 following an unsuccessful grievance.
Miss Irwin brought claims of constructive unfair dismissal, disability discrimination, sex/age/disability harassment and victimisation. The Tribunal unanimously dismissed all those claims.
Whilst Experian’s managers knew Miss Irwin was (peri)menopausal, they did not have actual or constructive knowledge that those symptoms rendered her disabled until she submitted her grievance in October 2019.
In any event, the Tribunal found that Experian’s use of the performance management process was justified, it handled Miss Irwin’s return to work carefully, investigated her grievance thoroughly and decided it fairly.
The judgment is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/63e3ad0c8fa8f50e86ff1b08/Miss_Irwin_v_Experian_Limited_2601913.2020.pdf
Sophie will be speaking on the topic of Menopause in the Workplace at Parklane Plowden’s upcoming Employment Grandstand Seminar: https://www.parklaneplowden.co.uk/employment-grandstand-seminar/