On average, a woman will menstruate until she is 50 years old, and every period added together sums up a total of 6.5 years. In one study, 90% of people who menstruate revealed that they go through various symptoms. From 32% to 40% of people who have periods reported the pain is so severe that they’ve had to miss work or school.
Bright Side celebrates when this time of the month is taken into account and used in a way to ease our lives, and here’s how Spain is going for it.
Spain becomes the first European country to allow menstrual leave.
Spain’s government proposed a law that will allow women who suffer from painful periods to take a few days of “menstrual leave.” The draft of the bill says women can have 3 days off, and this can be extended to 5 — in certain circumstances.
The 3-day sick leave will be facilitated by a doctor’s note, but it will not be provided to those who have mild discomfort. Considering that more than half of women suffer from painful periods, this measure will provide relief to many. We’re sure that anyone who has been bedridden from cramps, laying in the fetal position, with a hot water bottle and chocolate on hand — will appreciate this too.
Presenteeism — the act of showing up for work without being productive — accounts for an average of 9 days lost per year for those who suffer from menstrual cramps. Some companies report that since adopting the concept of “period leave,” trust among managers and workers has increased and employees seem more productive than before.
Getting time off from work for your period has been a common practice for decades in some countries.
- Japan’s “period leave” has existed since 1947. The law does not require companies to provide paid leave or extra pay for women who choose to work during menstruation. In 1965, 26% of employees requested leave. In 2017, only 0.9% of women claimed it.
- Female employees in South Korea are entitled to menstrual leave and are ensured additional pay if they don’t use their days off.
- In Zambia, women can take 1 day off each month, a policy also known as “Mother’s Day.”
On top of the menstrual leave bill, Spain is also set to make sanitary products more accessible to the masses. They will be available, free of charge, in educational and social centers, and taxes on these items will be further reduced. The entire bill is due to be approved this week.
Have you ever had to take a day off from work because of your period? How would you feel if menstrual leave was approved in your country? Let us know in the comments.