Our neighbour Nepal has taken a leaf out of the book of countries such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia and UK . Kathmandu’s well known shopping portal Sasto Deal (SD) has implemented a menstrual leave policy wherein women employees who feel incapacitated to work during their menstrual cycle do not need to come into work. This basically means the women are entitled to take leaves every month, although it does not mean they automatically get a few days off every month.
Menstrual leave for employees says Nepalese company
As reported by News18 in an interview Richa Rajbhandari, business development manager at SD said “All the female employees would feel uncomfortable (not because of male colleagues but due to the natural functioning of their bodies) and inefficient at the workplace during that time of month. We felt comfortable resting and working from home instead. Personally, one day, when I wasn’t feeling good, I took a leave and decided to work from home. I realized I was more productive at home.”
In support of the company’s decision another women employee Ayushree Thapa, SD’s creative content manager explained to the news portal, “Understanding and recognizing that men and women are different, that equality does not mean treating the two genders function the same way, is important. In its truest form, this is actually a step closer to equality in the workplace, where men and women work together and both genders understand the differences between each other.”
Menstrual leave has been a legal right for Japanese women since 1947
As far as the male employees of the Company are concerned, they too support this decision taken by the management. SD’s CTO, Sodhan Manadhar stated, “If you get sick, you take a break. If you are unable to work, you take a break. I am sure there are some iron ladies who have no symptoms at all but for most, there is at least one miserable day during this time. So yeah, it’s perfectly fine to take a break.”
However, this trend has reportedly had mixed response. For example in Japan one professional shared with The Guardian that it was a big of a stigma. “If you take menstrual leave, you’re basically broadcasting to the entire office which days of the month you have your period,” said Kyoko, a professional woman in her 30s to the UK based publication, who asked for her real name to be withheld.
From the point of view of human resources management, this is a positive step for sure. Could Indian companies be next to look at this?