French supermarket Carrefour announces menstrual leave

The company has stated that a decision is made to support and improve women’s rights and equality at the workplace.

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Carrefour, a French supermarket giant, announced on April 19, 2023, that it will allow female employees with endometriosis, a medical condition that can cause severe menstrual cramps, to take days off.

This move is a step towards granting women extra time off in a country where paid menstrual leave is still dependent on the initiative of individual employers.

Endometriosis is a chronic disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the womb and affects one in ten women worldwide.

Carrefour stated that they have decided to provide women who suffer from endometriosis with 12 days off per year to improve women’s rights and equality at work.

Women can take one day off per month, provided they submit a medical certificate proving that they have the illness.

In addition, Carrefour will grant three days off to women who have had a miscarriage, and one day off to women undergoing an embryo transfer as part of a medically assisted pregnancy.

The measures announced by Carrefour will only apply to workers in France for now. However, CEO Alexandre Bompard hopes that this decision will have a domino effect and encourage other companies to follow suit.

Last month, the municipality of Saint-Ouen, north of Paris, became the first in France to allow women two days off per month for conditions linked to their menstrual cycles, including endometriosis.

In February, Spain became the first European country to adopt legislation allowing for paid menstrual leave. Other countries, such as Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Zambia, have similar laws, but the number of days off and the level of remuneration vary.

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