paid menstrual leave?
What is paid menstrual leave and why do we need it?
Paid menstrual leave is the paid days off that you can use when you need time for period care (rest, appointments, etc). This is provided by an employer to their employees, typically one day per month, for a total of 12 days/year.
Getting paid to stay home and care for your period sounds amazing, right? Like why haven’t all companies done this already? I mean menstruators go through cramps and discomfort each month. Shouldn’t we all have paid days off for our period?
Well, we agree with you. Periods sustain life. Unfortunately, there has been such a large stigma around periods that many people have to make up a lie for why they need a “sick” day off of school or work when in reality it’s due to their period symptoms.
According to Diva International, a company that has recently implemented paid menstrual leave in Canada, “the purpose of a Paid Menstrual Leave policy that is separate from the existing Paid Sick Leave policy is to de-stigmatize discussion of menstruation in the workplace and support their employees’ menstrual cycles.” and that, “we don’t need a doctor’s note, or for people to justify a certain level of pain to take the day. If you need it, you can take it.”
The spark for this change is rooted in the debilitating pain that can be caused by endometriosis, fibroids, PCOS, and other menstrual disorders. Additionally, on average it takes a menstruator 6-10 years to get a diagnosis for their condition. This is completely unacceptable and we are so glad to see the discussion and push for better health for all women and menstruators!
What are your thoughts? Would you take menstrual leave if given the option? Have you ever worked in a place that offered it?
Let us know by DMing us on social media or via firstname.lastname@example.org!
-Menstrual Mates Team