Workers need paid menstrual leave, GMB Congress says

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Move would make UK world leader in gender equality and womens’ rights, delegates hear

Workers need paid menstrual leave to battle absenteeism, reduced productivity and stress and discomfort, GMB Congress said today.

Delegates at the union’s annual event in Bournemouth heard several countries, including Japan, Taiwan, and Indonesia, have already implemented paid menstrual leave policies.

Charmaine Weston-Porter, GMB Delegate, told Congress:

"Menstruation is a natural and unavoidable biological process that affects approximately half of the population.

“Despite this, the stigma surrounding menstruation persists, and many women feel ashamed or embarrassed to discuss their menstrual health needs with their employers.

“This can lead to absenteeism, reduced productivity, and increased stress and discomfort for women in the workplace.

“Paid menstrual leave would help to address these issues by acknowledging menstruation as a legitimate health concern and allowing women to take time off work without fear of financial penalty.

“This would enable women to manage their menstrual symptoms more effectively and reduce the impact of menstruation on their work and personal lives.

“By taking this step, the UK would be a leader in the fight for gender equality and women’s health rights.”