Women at one U.K. company will now be able to take time off of work during their menstrual cycle, thanks to a new “period policy.”
Bex Baxter, director of Coexist, the company instating the policy, hopes to minimize the stigma and taboo associated with periods – especially for women who are suffering from cramps.
“I have managed many female members of staff over the years and I have seen women at work who are bent over double because of the pain caused by their periods,” Baxter told the Bristol Post. “Despite this, they feel they cannot go home because they do not class themselves as unwell.”
The policy aims to recognize a woman’s pain during her menstrual cycle without attaching the “label of illness.”
Coexist’s employees – of which there are 24 women and seven men – have welcomed the idea.
“For too long there’s been a taboo surrounding periods – I have women staff telling me they’re ashamed to admit they’re in pain,” Baxter said. “I want us to break down that shame and replace the negativity with positivity.”
The concept of menstrual leave is not entirely new. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia have had laws in place since as early as 1947 allowing women leave. Today, Nike is the sole worldwide company to offer paid menstrual leave as part of its code of conduct.