66% of employers do not offer menstrual support to staff

menstrual support

Employee Benefits poll: Two-thirds (66%) of employers do not offer menstrual support to their members of staff.

Just 9% of respondents to an online survey conducted by Employee Benefits in May said that they do provide menstrual support for staff, while a quarter (25%) said they are considering implementing it.

Earlier this month Employee Benefits reported that the Spanish government is due to approve plans allow women who suffer from severe period pain to take menstrual leave from work for up to three days each month.

Revealed by the radio station Cadena Ser, the draft reform will make Spain the first country in Western Europe to offer guaranteed time off for those experiencing their periods. Currently only Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, and Zambia grant menstrual leave.

The reform includes other measures to improve menstrual health, including a requirement for schools to provide sanitary pads, period products to be provided for free to women in marginalised social circumstances, and removing VAT from their sale price in supermarkets.

Secretary of State for Equality Angela Rodriguez said to the El Periodico newspaper: “It is important to clarify what a painful period is, we are not talking about a slight discomfort, but about serious symptoms such as diarrhoea, severe headaches and fever. Symptoms that when there is a disease that entails them, a temporary disability is granted, therefore the same should happen with menstruation and that there is the possibility that if a woman has a very painful period, she can stay home.”

She added: “One in four women cannot choose the feminine hygiene products she wants to buy for financial reasons. That is why we propose that they can be dispensed free of charge in educational and social centres.”

Customer interaction management business Critizr introduced a menstrual and miscarriage leave policy for its 100-plus employees in May.

The organisation introduced five days of leave in the event of a miscarriage during the first 22 weeks of pregnancy, two days if an employee’s spouse or partner suffers a miscarriage, whether they work at the firm or not, and one to two days of leave per month if a member of staff is experiencing dysmenorrhoea linked to endometriosis or another pathology, depending on what is necessary.

Critizr has introduced days off for any employee whose partner has suffered a miscarriage later on in the pregnancy as part of its recognition of the event’s impact and the need for more support to cope afterwards.

Xavier Molinié, vice president of human resources at Critizr, said: “With these measures, we want to go beyond our legal and contractual obligations and support our employees during the difficult times they may be going through, when working can be difficult, if not impossible. We are proud to undertake this development in line with the benefits we have already implemented to give everyone the space and comfort to fulfil their potential.”