Most of us women have to endure our ‘monthlies’ and a good many of us sail through it fairly trouble-free, occasionally helped along with a dose of Paracetamol! However, for those who find the monthly curse a severely painful and sometimes traumatic experience, the effect this can have on them at work for those days can be dramatic.
So, in order to support their ladies through what can be a bit of a grim time, Bristol-based company Coexist have decided to introduce a ‘period-policy’, allowing staff to take time off during their period. The hope being that it will make its workplace more efficient and effective.
Bev Baxter, a Director at Coexist says that there is a misconception that taking time off makes a business unproductive and that actually this policy is about “synchronising work with the natural cycles of the body”.
In Indonesia and Japan, the law allows for women to have 2 and 3 days of ‘menstruation leave’ per month respectively. Korea and Taiwan have similar provisions and Nike have had a menstrual leave clause in their code of conduct since 2007, so is this a matter that we should seriously be thinking about and creating policies for in our organisations?
It feels as though, culturally, the UK may be some way from embracing the idea of compelling employers to allow female employees time off to cope with the pain of their periods.
However, companies who take a supportive and sympathetic approach to health and wellbeing in general – perhaps enabling staff to work from home example, or being flexible around working hours when they’re not feeling their best – is likely to result in employees feeling valued and appreciated as a consequence.