February/March 2017 (vol. 13/5)

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Menstrual leave

Sally King, director of Menstrual Matters


In some countries, so-called ‘menstrual leave’ – allowing women to take time off work around their menstrual cycle – is enshrined in law. In the UK, the media has recently highlighted the debate about menstrual leave. In the first of a series of articles on occupational health issues particularly affecting women, Sally King, director of the Menstrual Matters online hub, questions whether or not this is the best way forward.

‘Menstrual leave’ refers to employment benefits specifically for female workers who suffer from painful periods or associated symptoms, allowing them time off work, or extra flexibility in their working hours. In the past year, there has been much discussion on the topic in the UK media, with debates in the press1 and on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour 2 arguing the pros and cons …


Sally King is the director of Menstrual Matters, an online information hub on the role of the menstrual cycle in female-prevalent chronic ill-health conditions. She has previously worked on gender equality issues at Amnesty International, CARE International and Oxfam GB.


Author: King, S


Occupational Health at Work February/March 2017 (vol. 13/5) pp35-36

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