Nothing is worse than trying to bang out copy in the office when half your womb is falling out and it feels like your ovaries have been tied together. That’s why we’re totally for the idea that female employees be offered three days paid menstrual leave a month to cope the greasy horror of their periods.
Sadly, though, we’d have to skip the country – and quickly before Brexit is finalised – as the idea is currently being considered for women in Italy.
So far, the proposed legislation for menstrual leave has received a mixed response. Some argue that the law is a genius, progressive move. Others fear that, much like maternity leave, it could hold career women back in the workplace by singling their needs out as different to their male counterparts.
“Great,” I hear UK workers cry. We are different. We have boobs and make babies and everything. We need different things. However, in Italy, women face even worse discrimination. According to the Italian national bureau of statistics, 25 per cent of pregnant employees are let go after they’ve given birth. As a result, only 61 per cent of Italian women are in work, compared to an average of 72 per cent in Europe.
“Women are already taking days off because of menstrual pains, but the new law would allow them to do so without using sick leaves or other permits,” Economist Daniela Piazzalunga told The Independent.
“However, on the other hand I wouldn’t exclude that [if the law is approved] this would lead to negative repercussions: The demand for female employees among companies might decrease, or women could be further penalised both in terms of salary and career advancement.’
Roman newspaper Il Messaggero predicts the menstrual leave legislation could be approved in the next few months. We’ll be watching with bated breath – and swollen stomachs – to see if this sets an example for other European countries in the future.