How should employers be supporting workers with endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a chronic and debilitating condition that affects approximately 1 in 10 women in the UK. Last month was Endometriosis Action Month, which aimed to raise awareness of this condition and to promote better support for those living with it.

In this blog, I will discuss how UK employers can support workers with endometriosis, and what legal obligations they have to do so.

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a painful condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the womb. This tissue can grow on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, bowel, or other parts of the pelvic area. Endometriosis can cause chronic pain and fertility issues. Other factors include fatigue, nausea, and bowel or bladder problems. As the symptoms of the condition can be severe, they will often impact employment, so it is important employers understand the impact of this condition.

How does Endometriosis affect work?

Endometriosis can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to work. The pain and other symptoms can make it difficult to concentrate, sit or stand for a long time, and perform physically demanding tasks. As a result, women with endometriosis are more likely to take time off work, and they may experience discrimination and stigma in the workplace.

Employers’ legal obligations

Under UK employment law, employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to support workers with a disability or long-term health condition. Endometriosis is considered a disability under the Equality Act 2010 if it has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Reasonable adjustments employers can make may include:

  • flexible working arrangements,
  • providing extra breaks or rest periods,
  • making adjustments to the work environment,
  • additional support.

Employers should also have policies in place to prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Employers and Endometriosis

Endometriosis can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to work, and it is important that employers provide support to workers with this condition. Employers have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments and support employees with endometriosis. By offering flexible working arrangements, reasonable adjustments, awareness and training, access to healthcare, and reviewing policies, employers can create an inclusive and supportive workplace for employees with endometriosis.

To discuss this, or any other related matter with an Employment Law expert, contact Jane or a member of her team by calling us, email us or start a live chat today.

*This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.


Jane Crosby

Partner, Head of Dispute Resolution & Accredited Mediator

Jane is a Partner based in the Guildford office and she is also Head of the Dispute Resolution team here at Hart Brown. Jane specialises...

Jane Crosby -Head of Dispute Resolution

Partner, Head of Dispute Resolution & Accredited Mediator

Jane Crosby

Jane is a Partner based in the Guildford office and she is also Head of the Dispute Resolution team here at Hart Brown. Jane specialises in employment Law and commercial litigation and brings more than 15 years' experience to her role.

Prior to entering the legal profession, Jane was employed in the aviation industry. This experience is appreciated by many of Jane's clients who note that she is able to take a commercial and pragmatic approach to any legal issue that they face.

Jane acts for a wide range of individuals and businesses and her areas of specialism include aviation, property related industries and IT. Jane regularly advises on aspects of employment law, such as settlement agreements, employment contracts, policies and procedures, redundancies, equal pay, data protection, issues arising from TUPE and reorganisations, the calculation of holiday pay, bonus and commission payments, disciplinary and grievance issues, dismissal and termination issues, the protection of confidential information and the enforcement of restrictive covenants. Jane gets involved in GDPR training for her clients and she is able to deliver tailored employment law training sessions upon request.

As a commercial litigation lawyer, Jane also deals in shareholder and directors disputes, commercial contract disputes and the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Jane has been involved in successful high value commercial litigation for clients in the High Courts, she is an accredited mediator and she is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association.

Jane is often asked to write for a number of well known publications, including The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and The Week and she has been interviewed on BBC Radio 4.

Here is small selection of the feedback that Jane has received:

“Jane, I cannot sincerely thank you enough for your wise counsel and am delighted to have made your acquaintance. If I am blessed with a new position somewhere I will hand over my contract in the first instance to you. Likewise, any of my friends, peers, romans and countrymen wanting advice, I will point them in your direction.”

“Jane, you have been most resilient on my behalf for which I sincerely thank you for all your endeavours. I have a tremendous working relationship with Hart Brown and you have undoubtedly compounded this further."

“I appreciated the clarity of advice given at a stressful time”.

“A sensitive and highly professional approach and efficient work in the interests of the client”.

“Your advice, conduct and assistance have been indeed outstanding and very professional but also – and most importantly – very humane”.