Working for Employees with Endometriosis

Our team of Employment solicitors consists of dedicated specialists and lawyers who deal exclusively with employment law. The team have over 30 years’ experience collectively and have wide, in-depth knowledge of all employment matters and disputes.

You can be assured Lawson-West’s solicitors keep up to date with the latest legal developments and changes to bring you the best advice.

Lawson-West’s expert employment solicitors and lawyers have experience of representing clients who have been discriminated against because of Endometriosis.

What is Endometriosis or Endo as it is commonly known?

Endometriosis is a condition which women who are of child bearing age. Endometriosis occurs when the lining of the uterus is found in other parts of the body, most commonly the uterus, fallopian tubes, bowel and bladder.  

Endometriosis is a complex, reoccurring and extremely debilitating condition causing chronic pain to those who suffer. The condition can mean that sufferers can be prevented from engaging in every day activities.  There is currently no cure for the condition.  Medical professionals are uncertain as to how an individual develops such a condition and are uncertain of the full symptoms and side effects as many women have noted many reoccurring side effects that cannot as yet be fully connected to Endometriosis. 

Possible symptoms

  • Stomach and back pain

  • Bloating

  • Digestive and bowel malfunctions

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Weight management difficulties

  • Inflammation

  • Pain when going to the toilet during the menstrual cycle

  • Painful intercourse

  • Pain during ovulation

  • Problems conceiving

  • Heavy periods

The symptoms of Endometriosis are largely unseen.

When to tell Your Employer about your Endometriosis

Many people are able to work despite their condition and have successful and rewarding careers. The extent of the condition can determine whether or not it is formally a disability. The Equality Act 2010 defines disability as “a physical or mental impairment which has an effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.” This could include ‘hidden’ impairments or disabilities and the effect must be “substantial, adverse and long-term.” It is arguable that Endometriosis could constitute a disability. 

Legally, employees with disabilities should not be treated less favourably than non disabled persons. This may mean giving allowances for time off, providing light duties during episodes of pain and adjustments to their workload.  If a person is treated less favourably and/or an employer fails to put into place ‘reasonable adjustments’ individuals may be able to present claims of discrimination.  

To assist the employer in understanding your condition and the additional support they could provide, it is important that an assessment is undertaken to provide feedback, assistance and recommendations for adjustments.  If this is to take place, you therefore need to ensure that your employer has sufficient knowledge of the condition so that they can offer support or undertake any necessary Occupational Health assessments. 

Any recommendations provided should be implemented as quickly as possible, where reasonable to avoid any further detriment.

Endometriosis reasonable adjustments:

  • Allowing time off for medical appointments

  • Change of working hours

  • Dispensation for absences related to the condition

  • Access to counselling

  • Occupational Health assessment

  • Reduced workload

Endometriosis discrimination

Discrimination against people who have a disability, of which it is argued Endometriosis could be defined as, is unlawful. If your employer refuses to assist you in the workplace or make reasonable adjustments then you may be being discriminated against. Alternatively, your employer may put in place a way of working which unreasonably prevents you from working because of your disability. This can also be a form of discrimination. In other circumstances, an Employer may directly discriminate against you by deliberately preventing you from being able to work because of your disability.

Making a claim

If your employer does not consult with you, carry out the necessary checks and investigations and make any reasonable adjustments required, your work may suffer. In some circumstances you may find that you are dismissed on the basis that you are unable to carry out the role. If this is the case then you may be entitled to claim against your employer for disability discrimination.

There is no minimum length of employment required to bring a claim at the Employment Tribunal, but it is important to lodge your claim with ACAS within 3 months of the act of discrimination occurring. It is therefore essential that you take legal advice on your situation at an early stage and as soon as possible.

If you have been unfairly treated at work because you suffer from Endometriosis we can help. Please remember there are strict time limits in Employment claims and you should take good free legal advice as soon as possible.

In addition to No Win No Fee, Lawson-West solicitors act for our clients on a variety of other funding arrangements including Legal Expenses insurance funding. We can assess your case to decide which is the best funding option for you.

With offices in Leicester, Wigston and Market Harborough our employment solicitors and lawyers can discuss your employment law claim at any of our branches. In addition, we are a national provider of expert employment law advice and welcome a free discussion with you regarding your circumstances and potential claim.

If you believe you have a situation where you require free legal advice, please contact us on telephone 0116 212 1000 or 01858 445 480, alternatively fill in the free Contact Us form and we will get in touch as soon as possible.

Useful Links:

The Plight of Sufferers

Endometriosis in the Workplace

Endometriosis Centre at Leicester's Nuffield Hospital