That time of the month, mother nature’s gift to womankind, can be quite the ordeal for individuals who suffer from severe cramps.
Though skeptics may scoff at the symptoms of menstruation as a “real condition,” periods can affect women’s ability to go about their day-to-day activities. One British company understands the implications of menstrual pain and is taking action to accommodate their female employees.
Coexist, a Bristol-based community hub, is on the course to implement a “period policy” that permits women to take time off during their time of the month. The company is planning a “Pioneering Period Policy” for March 15, according to The Huffington Post.
The event description read:
“The purpose of this policy initiative is to create a positive approach to menstruation and the menstrual cycle that empowers women and men and supports the effectiveness and well-being of the organization.”
The British company isn’t the first to set such a precedent. Some Asian countries require menstrual policies for their female workers. In Japan, menstruation leave has been enacted into law since 1947. South Korea offers paid menstrual leave and Taiwan allows female employees who have difficulties working during their periods to request a one-day leave each month.
Severe cramps can cause a number of women to be bedridden, according to Dr. Catherine Allaire, medical director of the B.C. Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis. She said:
“There’s a significant amount of women that have some pain with their periods and in a portion of those women it is quite unmanageable.
“There’s a discomfort in discussing private problems of that sort. It’s also not a cancer or anything deadly, so it’s not something that people understand can cause so much disability.”
Lisa Kay, a president and lead consultant of Toronto’s Peak Performance Human Resources, commented on the implementation of menstrual leave policy to the workplace. She said:
“From the employee’s perspective, it certainly is nice to know that your employer appreciates that this is a challenging time for women, and would support a woman taking this time off if necessary. But I do think it’s awkward for a woman to approach a male employer.
“There would need to be resources in place or support systems in place to make it feasible for women to take advantage of this.”