Do we need a menstrual leave?

Asian countries already onboard
By Liz Foster
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/01/2016

Sick leave is available for employees suffering from any number of ailments, but is there a need for a designated leave around menstruation?

The concept garnered attention recently with news the province of Anhui in China had introduced a regulation in March that allows female employees to take up to two days per month of menstrual leave. The regulation also bans employers from discriminating against employees based on gender. 

However, the idea is not entirely new. Leave for female employees during menstruation has been enshrined into local law in several countries: Japan enacted menstrual leave just after the Second World War in its Labor Standards Law in 1947, at a time when women were entering the workforce in record numbers. Taiwan introduced a similar leave in 2013 that guarantees female workers three days of leave per year, while South Korea has provided paid menstrual leave since 2001, according to media reports.