'Menstrual privilege': Province allows employees to work from home on period days

Menstrual kits will also be provided across all offices

'Menstrual privilege': Province allows employees to work from home on period days

Employees of the provincial government of La Union in the Philippines may now opt to work remotely on days they have their period thanks to a new "Menstrual Privilege" policy.

The recently signed Executive Order No. 25 grants employees a "two-days per month privilege" on their period days on which they can avail the work-from-home arrangement. In addition to this benefit, the provincial government will also start providing menstrual kits in its every office.

Read more: Future Super introduces menstrual and menopause leave

Zeny Aspiras, supervising administrative officer at the Human Resource Management Office of the provincial administrator, told the Philippine News Agency that they’re still formulating the guidelines for the new executive order. Governor Raphaelle Veronica Ortega-David, who signed the order, said in a Facebook post that she hopes to raise awareness with the new law.

"I hope that with this EO, we can spread awareness and be kinder to our female employees especially on their period days," the governor said. "To all our female employees, this EO is my hug to each of you."

Menstruation-related policies remain to be seen across many workplaces in the Philippines. However, former labour secretary Silvestre Bello III said in 2019 that female employees can still have a "dysmenorrhea leave" through a collective bargaining agreement with their employers.

Across the world, only a few countries are offering menstruation-related policies. Indonesia extends two days of paid leave a month for female employees, Taiwan offers three days annually, Zambia offers one per month, while Japan allows women to take time off but does not require that they be paid.

Read more: Should employers offer free period products in the workplace?

Canada also recently unveiled a new proposal that seeks to make menstrual products accessible without cost to employees in federally regulated workplaces. Researchers previously said that the impact of menstruation in workplaces remains underestimated, CNN reported, as a study in 2019 revealed that period pain is linked to nearly nine days of lost productivity a year.

"Women said that they weren't as productive as they could be while at work – they needed to go to the toilet every hour or they had a headache and couldn't concentrate," Theodoor Nieboer, study author and a gynaecologist at the Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, told CNN.

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