More & More People Are Calling For Menstrual Leave In The Work Place – Here’s Why

Greater awareness of menstrual health would benefit everyone.

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More and more people are calling for menstrual leave to be introduced into the workplace.

Painful periods and other debilitating menstrual symptoms are too often classed as something women and those who menstruate simply have to deal with, however as awareness around such issues grows, so does an understanding of the need that many people have for such allowances in the workplace.

While many people suffer from painful periods in general, conditions like endometriosis – in which lining similar to that in the uterus grows in other places like the fallopian tubes – can also lead to extreme pain so intense that some women have reported passing out from it.

As per countries where such menstrual leave policies have already been introduced, those suffering with severe period related symptoms, including cramps, would be permitted to avail of a specified number of days off per month or per year, depending on the specific legislation.

As it stands, 91percent of students in Ireland report having felt pain either during or in the lead up to their periods, with 52 percent saying that they experience this pain every month. For many, cramping is a regular part of their menstrual cycle but for others, it can be extremely debilitating, affecting their work, social lives, and more.

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In 2022, Spain approved legislation that would allow employees to avail of three days menstrual leave per month for period pain, once assessed by a doctor. But Spain isn’t the only country to introduce such a policy – South Korea, Japan, and Indonesia are also among the states where such legislation exists.

There are also fresh calls in Australia for such a policy to be introduced, which would entitle employees who have painful periods – or menopause symptoms – one day a month or 12 days a year of paid leave.

So, what about Ireland? Although there are no immediate plans to introduce such a system here just yet, a recent survey carried out by Fórsa showed that a staggering 96 percent of people were in favour of introducing menstrual-friendly policies in the workplace.

While such policies may not relate directly to menstrual leave, if implemented, they could lead to greater awareness of menstrual health in the work placed and beyond.

What’s more is that a recent study by Active Iron showed that 83 percent of young women across the UK and Ireland would “like to see a policy put in place to allow for time off due to period symptoms,” while 74% said that they “struggled to complete work due to period symptoms.”

Whether you suffer from particularly bad periods or not, it’s clear that the vast majority of people are in favour of working environments that are more aware and sensitive when it comes to menstruation.