Milestone: Kolkata Company Gives Paid Menstrual Leave To Women

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Kolkata: Bringing an end to the frustrating work days for women during monthly periods, a digital media company, FlyMyBiz has decided to give paid menstrual leave to its women employees from January 1. They are the first one in Kolkata to do so.

The founder of the company, Samyo Datta, said all women employees in his company will get one extra leave every month. “This means, they will have 12 holidays as their period leave in addition to other holidays,” he added.

Prior to FlyMyBiz, two other private companies, Culture Machine and Gozoop in Mumbai had given paid leave to women during menstruation. Culture Machine had even launched a video where they surprised their female employees with the good news.

Several countries have introduced the same provision for their women employees. Japan had passed a law allowing women with debilitating periods to stay on leave, back in 1947. Likewise, South Korean women employees were also granted the same from 2001 onwards. The Indonesian government under its Labour Act of 1948, has also granted the first and second day of menstruation as paid holidays. Italy was also voting on the same in 2017.

Brands like Nike have been following similar policies.

Not quite known is the fact that Bihar Government has been offering two days of period leave to women employees since 1992. Women, without any justification, can decide the two days when they need an off.

The step taken is integral for women’s health in many ways. According to the Clinical Evidence Handbook published by BMJ Publishing Group, UK, 20 per cent of the women’s population suffers cramps, nausea, fever and weakness during periods. Some have reduced emotional control and decreased concentration.

Endometriosis Society India estimates suggest that over 25 million women suffer from endometriosis, a chronic condition of painful period where it extremes to a point when women pass out.

Earlier in 2018, a Member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh, Ninong Ering, had tabled a Private Members’ Bill entitling the Menstruation Benefit Bill, in Lok Sabha. She proposed paid leave for all working women in India every month.

According to Women’s National Health Service Foundation Trust report, period pain affects up to 20 per cent of women workers. In addition to that, work population ratio says that male workers in the Financial Year 2016 stood at 73.3 per cent while only 25.8 per cent were female.

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