First country in Europe approves menstrual leave

'Temporary disability' allows women to take 5 paid days off

First country in Europe approves menstrual leave

Spain has become the first country in Europe to approve the creation of paid sick leave for women related to menstruation.

The new bill allows for women to call in sick “in case of incapacitating menstruation,” according to Politico.

“Disabling” menstruation is also considered a “temporary disability” by the Spanish Congress, as part of a new law that also covers abortion and transgender rights for teenagers.

Introduced late last year, the legislation means women in Spain now have the right to three days of menstrual leave a month — with the option of extending it to five days — if they experience painful periods, according to the Washington Post.

Dysmenorrhea refers to the symptom of painful menstruation. In a 2012 study published in the Journal of Pain Research, the prevalence of dysmenorrhea in young women is:

  • 84.1% when considering only menstrual pain
  • 55.2% when considering the association between menstrual pain and need for medication
  • 31.9% when considering the association between menstrual pain and absenteeism
  • 25.3% when considering the association between menstrual pain, need for medication, and absenteeism.

In 2021, Future Super said staff will be able to take up to six days of leave a year if they’re struggling to manage their symptoms, meaning they no longer have to dip into their sick leave allowance.

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