WATERCOOLER: Company to offer "period leave" for women

A UK company is introducing paid menstrual leave.

The Daily Mail reports Bristol based company Coexist will offer 'period leave' to women every month.

It will be the first UK company to introduce such a policy, one that already exists in several countries such as Japan, Indonesia and Russia. 

Coexist Company director Bex Baxter said they introduced the leave to allow women to "take time for their body's natural cycle without putting this under the label of illness".

"There is a misconception that taking time off makes a business unproductive - actually it is about synchronising work with the natural cycles of the body.

"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.

"Despite this, they feel they cannot go home because they do not class themselves as unwell."





Mr Baxter said that wasn't fair and at Coexist, if "someone is in pain - no matter what kind - they are encouraged to go home".  

Coesxist is a social community group that employs 31 staff, seven of those are male.

Mr Baxter said the period leave idea had been welcomed by staff of both genders.

"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.

"I want us to break down that shame and replace the negativity with positivity. Both men and women have been open to the ideas - especially from the younger generation."

The concept of menstrual leave first originated in Japan. Labour unions started to demand the leave in the 1920s and by 1947 a law was brought in to allow menstruating women days off work.

Menstrual leave is also law in Indonesia, Korea, Phillipines, Russia and Taiwan.

Since its introduction in Japan, debate continues as to whether it is a discriminatory measure or a medical necessity.

Some consider it controversial because it can be seen as sexism or as a criticism of a female's work efficiency.

What you're saying on Facebook:

Claire Wallace: "In some cases like mine my periods are so heavy and so intense I can't leave the house. Regular periods no, medically horrible periods yes."

Marie Palmer: "We are definitely becoming a weak country It's something that occurs every month for women so they need to get over it. Anyway they can go get an injection so they don't get them."

John Solomon: "That's life I guess.I thought it a bit much when paid maternity leave was introduced, if this becomes allowable where to next. There are so many benifits for women in the workforce etc all costing the taxpayer.Maybe some planning,medication. I am however ok with paid beer pain."

Vanessa Lea: "Shouldn't it just come under sick pay? Otherwise it could be abused with no way of proving who legitimately needs the time off. I remember using it add an excuse to get out of swimming at school. Lol."

Trevor Targett: "Certainly not. Yes the monthly bleed can be debilitating. However if you work in the public service or a large organisation yes period leave might well be affordable for the employer. But what about small business who employ the most people? They couldn't afford it. It's worthy enough to ask the question - not saying it's not. But the employers of a large chunk of the workforce can't afford it. Would it be fair to burden them? Of course not. Would it be fair that some get it and some don't? No."

Dave Evans: "Yes of course - especially in cases where endometriosis causes problems. It's a debilitating problem for some girls."

Naomi Grayson: "You have got to be kidding me!!! Have have days where I have to literally crawl out of bed to get ready for work. Big WOOP!! I got bills to pay. People out there have more serious problems and have to ignore them, go to work and push through the pain to keep a roof over head and food in bellies. Pain once a month (sometimes the pain is longer then a week I get that) vs constant almost intolerable pain... who really deserves the time off??"

Taran Saunders: "It should have to be medically authorised. Since it is pain related. Otherwise i can see abuse in this."

Sue Mureau: "Is there anything people dont want paid leave for? No wonder so many jobs are being outsourced."

Chantelle Butler-Garden: "What the hell is happening to the world Where did the ridiculous sense of entitlement come from."