Spanish government approves menstrual leave law

Women workers can take as much paid time off as they require to deal with menstruation-related pain and incapacitation, provided a doctor certifies their condition

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In Spain, women workers can now take as much paid time off from work as they require, with the state social security system bearing the brunt of the sick leave and not the employers.

A legislation has been approved by the Parliament of Spain to this effect. This makes Spain the first European nation to allow employees paid menstrual leave.

The law has been approved thanks to the efforts of Irene Montero, equality minister, Spain.

While 185 votes were cast in favour of the law, only 154 votes went against it.

Very few countries, such as Zambia, Indonesia and Japan have legislations in place that allow paid menstrual leave.

Spanish women professionals can now take as much time off from work as they need to deal with menstrual pain and discomfort, provided they produce a doctor’s certificate proving their condition. How much leave can be taken is yet to be specified.

However, as is the case with any law or legislation, there are many who oppose. There are people who feel that menstrual leave policy may result in stigma for women professionals. Also, many feel that such a policy will discourage employers from hiring women in the first place.

The legislation also makes abortion more accessible in public hospitals. Now, even minors in Spain can go in for an abortion if they are 16 years of age, without having to get permission from their parents.

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