Company to offer 'period leave' to female employees each month
Published 02/03/2016 | 09:37
A company has announced plans to offer monthly 'period leave' to female employees in order to create a happier and more productive work environment.
Company director Bex Baxter, who employs 31 staff - seven male - at the UK social community group Coexist, said she wants to change the stigma around 'women issues'.
"I have managed many female members of staff over the years and I have seen women at work who are bent over double because of the pain caused by their periods.
"They feel guilty and ashamed for taking time off and often sit at their desks in silence not wanting to acknowledge it. It started from there and we thought we had to see what we could do about it and try and break the last great taboo," she said when speaking to The Telegraph.
Miss Baxter believes the new policy will increase productivity and hopes that other firms will follow the lead of global sportswear giant Nike and introduce similiar policies.
"Many companies are male-dominated and encourage long hours but there is a misconception that taking time off makes a business unproductive," she said.
"This is not about employees taking more time off but working more flexibly and efficiently around their menstrual cycle and encouraging a work-life balance.
"When women are having their periods they are in a winter state, when they need to regroup, keep warm and nourish their bodies. The spring section of the cycle, immediately after a period, is a time when women are actually three times as productive as usual."
Bristol-based Coexist employs 24 women and seven men - and the idea of formal guidelines around period leave has been welcomed enthusiastically by staff of both genders.
Bex added: "For too long there's been a taboo surrounding periods - I have women staff telling me their ashamed to admit they're in pain.
"I want us to break down that shame and replace the negativity with positivity. Both men and women have been open to the ideas - especially from the younger generation.
"I was talking to someone the other day and they said if it were men who had periods then this policy would have been brought in sooner.
"It's not just about taking time off if you feel unwell - but about empowering people to be their optimum selves. If you work with your natural rhythms, your creativity and intelligence is more fulfilled.
"And that's got to be good for business."
Independent News Service