SC on Menstrual leave and its global standing
The Supreme Court of India declined to consider a PIL requesting menstruation leave for workers and students nationwide, citing the issue as one of policy. It was emphasised that menstrual pain leave had various “dimensions” and that, despite the fact that menstruation was a biological event, such leave could discourage businesses from hiring female staff. Only a few nations, mostly in Asia, allow women who experience painful periods to take time off work to heal.
Menstrual leave and its global standing: Key Points
- Spain became the first nation in Europe to enact legislation providing for paid menstruation leave.
- Companies have begun providing paid time off in various other nations despite not being obligated to by law.
Rundown of the global situation:
- The left-wing government of Spain wrote the law, which offers paid leave for period pain as long as the patient has a note from a physician. The law makes no mention of how long this leave must be taken.
- Spanish unions have criticised the measure, stating that rather than emancipating women, menstruation leave may encourage companies to give men the upper hand when hiring.
- In 2003, a law was passed in Indonesia granting women the right to two days of unpaid menstruation leave each month.
- Due to ignorance of the law or a conscious decision to ignore it, many employers only provide one day of menstrual leave per month, while others provide no leave at all.
- According to a 1947 regulation in Japan, employers are required to grant women the menstrual leave they want, for as long as they require it.
- It does not mandate that they pay women during menstrual leave, but a 2020 survey by the labour ministry found that about 30% of Japanese businesses do.
- But, hardly many women use the law to their advantage. Just 0.9% of eligible employees have taken menstruation leave, according to the survey of almost 6,000 companies.
- Women have the right to one day of unpaid menstruation leave each month in South Korea. If an employer refuses, they could be fined up to 5 million won ($3,844).
- According to a 2018 survey, more women than in Japan took time off, at a rate of just over 19 percent.
- Women in Taiwan are granted three days of menstruation leave per year by the Act of Gender Equality in Work, which is in addition to the required 30 days of ordinary sick leave.
- Every month, women are only permitted to take one day off.
- Menstrual leave recipients receive only half their regular pay, similar to sick leave.
Other Countries on Menstrual leave
- In 2015, Zambia enacted a rule allowing women to skip work on the day of their menstruation without providing advance warning or a certificate from a doctor.
- Although while the rule is widely supported and understood, not all companies voluntarily follow it on what is clandestinely known as “Mother’s Day.”
- Some businesses and institutions have started providing women with menstrual leave before they were required to by law.
- These include the French furniture company Louis, the Indian food delivery service Zomato, and the Australian pension fund Future Super, which offer six, ten, and twelve additional days, respectively.
- Chani, a Los Angeles-based astrological company, similarly advertises on its website that it provides “unlimited menstrual leave for persons with uteruses.”