Menstruation, not a handicap, no need for ‘paid leave’ policy: Irani

Menstruation, not a handicap, no need for ‘paid leave’ policy Irani
Zomato implemented the period leave policy for its female employees who are now allowed to take 10 days of leave in a year for their period.

According to reports of TOI, Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Zubin Irani is currently in objection to Menstruation leave she told in Rajya Sabha yesterday that it’s not a handicap, and there is no need for a ‘paid leave’ policy.

“Menstrual leave could lead to discrimination against women in the workforce.’ She added.

In reply to MP Manoj Kumar Jha’s question whether the government had taken any measures to make compulsory provisions for employers to grant a certain number of leaves to female employees, Smriti Zubin Irani said, “As a menstruating woman, menstruation and the menstruation cycle is not a handicap, it’s a natural part of women’s life journey.”

“We should not propose issues where women are denied equal opportunities just because somebody who does not menstruate has a particular viewpoint towards menstruation,” she said.

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“However, the issue of menstruation and its associated activities are surrounded by silence, often treated with shame and associated with social taboos that restrict mobility, freedom, and access to normal activities for menstruating persons, and many times leads to their harassment and social exclusion”, she added.

Companies that have implemented Menopause and Menstrual Leave Policy

However, many companies have implemented Menopause Related Symptoms and Menstrual Leave Policies. Some of them are;

Standard Chartered announced a global rollout of medical coverage for the treatment of menopause-related symptoms to all employees and their partners as part of their medical benefits.

While the menopause transition is not a uniform experience, it can hurt participation in the workplace if not proactively managed, therefore the Bank’s coverage will offer a range of options including access to specialized medical practitioners and prescription medication.

Zomato implemented the period leave policy for its female employees who are now allowed to take 10 days of leave in a year for their period.

FlyMyBiz India introduced a menstruation leave policy in 2019. According to their program, women employees of the company can take 12 paid leave as period leave and it won’t be counted as sick or casual leave.

Byju’s offers 12 paid period leaves in a year. Employees also have the option to either take a full day off every month or they can take two half-day leave as well.

Swiggy introduced a period leave policy for their female delivery partners. As per the policy, the employees are allowed to take 2 days of paid leave every month for their period and the best part about this policy is the phrase “no question asked”.

Khaitan & Co. introduced a Menstrual Leave Policy that will provide a maximum of 12 paid days per calendar year.

Amar Sinhji, Executive Director – Human Resources, at Khaitan & Co., said, “Our firm, in its unwavering commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, has always strived to do what is right and support our people.”

“We believe that by providing the option of Menstrual Leave to our members, we empower them to prioritize their health, setting a precedent for a more compassionate and equitable workplace where everyone can thrive”, Amar Sinhji added.

“We hope that the introduction of this policy sets a tone for many others to follow inclusive practices that become the norm across industries”, Amar Sinhji said.

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