People typically associate the term "menstruation" with the monthly vaginal bleeding that women experience during their periods. Menstruation, however, extends beyond that, and many women experience heavy bleeding, which is frequently accompanied by discomfort, cramps, nausea, etc. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is the term for these symptoms, and studies have shown that it not only negatively affects a woman's life but also lowers her occupational productivity.

Even though every woman experiences pain differently—for some, the suffering is almost intolerable—they all manage to carry out their daily tasks, whether they be domestic or professional. This raises the issue of how working women handle it at their place of employment during the menstrual cycle. This is where the idea of menstrual leaves originated because it gives working women the choice to take time off during these trying times of pain and suffering. Menstrual leave policies are a crucial issue that is still not really taken into account in most countries.


A policy known as "menstrual leave" enables women to take paid or unpaid leave from work when they are experiencing uncomfortable menstrual symptoms. This suggests that female employees can take time off from work if they experience discomfort, pain, or other symptoms related to their menstrual cycle without fear of losing pay or facing disciplinary action. Although it is a relatively new idea and not yet widely used, it has gained popularity in recent years as more nations and businesses consider implementing it. 


In Soviet Russia in the 1920s, women were permitted time off from paid work during their periods.

Even earlier period leave was allegedly permitted at a Keralan school, according to a historian, in 1912.

In light of this, we examine the menstrual leave framework globally and the nations that currently offer them.

Global menstrual leave policies?


 Spain recently made history by becoming the first nation in Europe to provide paid menstrual leave to employees, among many other sexual health rights. Workers now have a monthly right to three days of menstrual leave, with the option to increase that to five days.


 In 1947, after the concept gained popularity among labour unions in the 1920s, it was incorporated into labour law. Employers are currently prohibited from asking women who are going through difficult times to work during those times under Article 68.


A policy that was first introduced in 1948 and revised in 2003 states that employees who are experiencing menstrual pain are not required to report to work on the first two days of their cycle.


Employees in the Philippines are allowed two days of menstrual leave each month.


A Gender Equality in Employment Act is in effect there. Every month, employees have the option to request one day off on period leave for half of their regular pay. The maximum number of such leaves per year is three; additional leaves count as sick leave.


 Zambia, an African country, established Mother's Day as a day of unpaid leave that does not require a justification or a medical certificate.


The petition also noted the existence of menstrual leave policies in Wales, Wales, and the United Kingdom.

India is making an effort, right?

Several businesses have implemented menstrual leave policies in India as well. The best-known example is Zomato, which in 2020 announced a 10-day paid leave per year.

Following the implementation of the policy, 621 employees have taken more than 2,000 days of leave, according to Time.

Swiggy and Byjus, among others, have done the same.

According to the petition filed with the Supreme Court, Bihar, and Kerala are the only state governments to grant women menstrual leave.