Dysmenorrhea is common in many women

According to an English study, 20 of the women suffer from dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain). It results in back, stomach, head, kidney pain, nausea… Pain can be severe to the point where you can no longer do your job or any activity normally.

The leave for the painful rules already in place elsewhere?

Menstrual leave is not new. First, in Japan, it was introduced as early as 1947 and allows women suffering from dysmenorrhea to take a maximum of 2 days off per month for this reason. However, the employer may decide on the length of the leave, whether or not to pay it, whether or not to grant the leave. However, few Japanese women use it. Difficulty asking if the employer is a man, taboo subject, non-remuneration of leave.

In addition, the leave has been implemented elsewhere in Asia: since 1948 in Indonesia, since 2001 in South Korea and since 2013 in Taiwan.

Above the market, since 2015 in Zambia, female employees have been given a monthly menstrual leave. They do not have to justify it with a medical certificate. The law stipulates that bosses who refuse to grant leave are punished with fines or even six months in prison.

On the other hand, some companies do not wait for the creation of a law to deal with the problem of dysmenorrhea. This is the case, for example, with Nike (2007). Its code of conduct indicates the possibility for women to take a menstrual leave. The same goes for the British company Coexist. Since 2016, Coexist has allowed its employees to take up to 3 days off a month during their painful periods or to work from home. According to the co-director of this company, women do not dare to take time off (stopping or taking leave) for this reason. They prefer to come to work without acknowledging that they are suffering.

Is setting up this leave a good idea?

For some, the introduction of a leave for painful periods is a positive step for women suffering every month. This means that painful periods are recognized. It is not a shame. Women are understood. They are no longer forced to take painkillers excessively in order to get around at work.

But most reviews seem to be negative. First, in Italy, 61 women work while the European average is 72. In addition, according to a report by Italy’s National Statistics Office (Istat), 25 of pregnant female employees are reported to be illegally dismissed during or after pregnancy. Menstrual leave could create even more inequality and discrimination.

Indeed, during job interviews, the subject of painful rules could be addressed. The recruitment of men could be encouraged. While not all women suffer from painful periods. They would therefore not be eligible for leave as long as a medical certificate is required to be presented. Also, menstruation remains a taboo subject for some women. Talking to the employer publicly or to the employer is not an option. Most importantly, it is a privacy issue. An employee who is on sick leave does not have to tell his employer why. However, menstrual leave for painful periods, accompanied by the medical certificate, would clearly indicate the cause. How can we be sure that medical secrecy is respected?

What do you think of painful period leave? Comment.

You may also be interested in this article.