Endometriosis UK comments on menstrual leave policy | Endometriosis UK

Endometriosis UK comments on menstrual leave policy

  • Monday, May 23, 2022

You may have seen the news recently that Spain is looking to introduce a menstrual leave policy that would enable workers who suffer from severe period pain up to three days of optional medical leave a month.

While this measure is well-meaning, a blanket policy risks downplaying the seriousness of symptoms that some of those with menstrual conditions such as endometriosis, heavy menstrual bleeding and dysmenorrhea (severe period pain) may experience. Rather than generic menstrual leave, we want endometriosis recognised for the chronic condition it is, deserving of the same support as any other illness. 

Those with endometriosis experience a wide range of symptoms, for some symptoms can be very mild whilst for others they may be be may debilitating. Employers should recognise the impact endometriosis has on their individual employees, and adapt their working practices and policies to suit individual needs. 

Endometriosis UK wants everyone with endometriosis to receive the support they need to thrive at work. Anyone experiencing pain which means they need to be absent from work should expect to receive the support they need, including time off sick, or addressing often simple measures employers can introduce to support those with the disease at work. 

Without this understanding and the implementation of sick leave policies that recognise endometriosis as a chronic condition that affects everyone differently, those with the disease will continue to face challenges in accessing the support they need at work.

Commenting on the news, Emma Cox, CEO of Endometriosis UK said:

“It’s good to see menstrual wellbeing being discussed at Government level in Spain. We need to challenge the historic squeamishness and silence around menstrual health and have more open conversations on this issue.

 "Anyone experiencing pain which means they need to be absent from work should expect to be listened to, believed, and receive support which is appropriate to the type and severity of symptoms they experience. This would be the case with any other condition, so why do employers and Government often fail to treat endometriosis and menstrual health conditions in the same way?

 "While this measure is well-meaning, a blanket policy risks downplaying the seriousness of symptoms that some of those with menstrual conditions such as endometriosis, heavy menstrual bleeding and dysmenorrhea (sever period pain) may experience. Rather than generic menstrual leave, we want endometriosis recognised for the chronic condition it is, deserving of the same support as any other illness. If you're an employer, find out how to support colleagues with endometriosis through our Endometriosis Friendly Employer scheme."

ENDS

For further comment, please email communications@endometriosis-uk.org 

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