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Workplace Period Policy

(33 Posts)
BikeRunSki Wed 02-Mar-16 13:14:10

workplace introduces'period policy'

Interesting idea, although I couldn't see it working in a male dominated environment. I like it though.

RoseDog Wed 02-Mar-16 13:16:50

Wonder if the schools will approve for teenage girls needing time off...

BikeRunSki Wed 02-Mar-16 13:31:17

That's what I thought! I was much more in need of time off as a teen than as an adult.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Wed 02-Mar-16 13:40:12

I think I would prefer to see improvements in treatment of painful periods.
Maybe employers could support time off to attend gynaecologist / GP appointments to try an improve women's lives.

whattheseithakasmean Wed 02-Mar-16 13:44:34

I don't think it is a great idea. The article says periods aren't sickness, which is true, but if they are sufficiently bad that you need time off work it should be covered under the sickness policy.

For most women, periods are an inconvenience and certainly don't necessitate time off so I resent the assumption I may need time off every month just for being a woman. Of course periods can be debilitating - but that is what sick leave is for, when you are not well enough to go in, not when you happen to be in a normal part of your life cycle. It all seems a bit 'woo' and othering of women, just for being women.

NewLife4Me Wed 02-Mar-16 13:47:21

My dd is treated well at school because of dysmenorrhea, she is only 12 and suffers the first day of each period, at least for the past 6 months.

She is allowed to lie down in the sick bay, they give her pain killers and usually a bucket, poor love.
They usually expect her to stay there all day until the pain has completely gone and even if she wants to go to class the nurse/doc won't always allow her back.

I know everybody can't access this support, and all schools are different.
I wanted to highlight that there is awareness out there and that some schools are doing this already.
A far cry from when I too suffered as a child. My mum stayed with me, gave me hot water bottles, painkillers, medication from doctor etc. Had I gone to school no allowances would have been made, so mum kept me off, first day, every period.

specialsubject Wed 02-Mar-16 13:57:33

not new, many 50s Hollywood stars had this written into their contracts.

reading between the lines, all the company bosses are doing are going to a seminar to discuss this. And I also think that the supportive bit is allowing time to get medical help, or maybe even providing funding for that help given the state of the NHS.

given that all they do is hire out a warehouse, I'm surprised they need so many employees!

NewLife4Me Wed 02-Mar-16 14:15:07


The problem with dysmenorrhea is that quite often it can not only be debilitating but also last for some considerable time.
I'm pretty sure my dd will grow out of it in time as did I.

The problem is employers do need to be sympathetic to some women requiring the first day/ 2days maybe in some cases off work each month.
This is more than the occasional day off for sickness.

There is no way I'd have managed work when it was so bad.
Alternating paracetamol and ibuprofen plus other medication, it was much worse than all 3 of my labours and childbirth.

You feel like the whole of your insides are being pulled apart, cramp, contractions that travel almost as far as the knees. You can be doubled up in pain, go as white as a sheet and sweat. The pain can make you vomit, faint, or black out. How can you be at work during these times?

RoseDog Wed 02-Mar-16 14:18:14

Awe NewLife4Me your daughters school sound fab I wish my dds was as good, the options currently are keep her off and she gets penalised or pump the 13 year old full of hormones confused

My mum kept us off too if we were really suffering...them were the days!

NewLife4Me Wed 02-Mar-16 14:27:24


They are brilliant, but as boarding school, they should be.
I do keep in contact with the medical centre though, as soon as she started getting severe pains I communicated with the nurse.

I'm sure if some gp's were more friendly to parents accessing help for their girls, with better communication between school, gp and parents, it should be possible.

The same with employers as well. You should be able to get a letter from the doctor, not detailing anything as such, but stating that miss x may need to have time off up to 1 or 2 days per month for a complaint making miss x unable to work.

Now, dd goes to medical, hundreds of stairs to put off the skivers grin she is given notes off swimming every month, and PE if particularly bad at that time. I signed for the medication from the nurse, but nothing from the doctor as yet.
She usually joins in fine if it isn't the first day iyswim.

OOAOML Wed 02-Mar-16 14:40:10

The time needs to be made up though - what if you can't manage to make up the time? As others have said, if it is bad enough to stay off work, it should be covered under normal sickness absence.

ouryve Wed 02-Mar-16 14:46:18

Assuming a period a month, though, having 12 or more days a year off sick tends not to go down too well. Pretending that illness associated with the start of a period is the same as any other illness is likely to mean that women are treated less favourably than men and are more likely to end up being monitored or "managed" owing to their absence record. It needs to be properly recognised.

RhodaBull Wed 02-Mar-16 15:06:39

When I saw this I immediately thought of school games lessons, and The Book, in which the PE teacher kept a record of periods so no one could skive off communal showers more than once a month. If someone pulled the period card too frequently, the PE teacher would bellow, "GO TO MATRON!!"

As a previous sufferer I can totally empathise with period pain. It can be brutal. But as with all good intentions, the skivers are going to have a field day. I'm sure most of us could predict with complete accuracy which employee is going to be the first to claim the period day(s) off.

NewLife4Me Wed 02-Mar-16 15:07:07

I suppose it's hard as well wrt trust.
There were some days I could work/ attend school with just paracetamol that worked to stop pain, other days couldn't have managed at all.

You can only let an employer know at the last minute or at earliest night before, if painful then.
It will be a nightmare arranging cover in some roles, but it still should be properly recognised as ouryve suggests.

OOAOML Wed 02-Mar-16 16:26:53

I had a three week cycle by the end of high school Rhoda so would have been sent to Matron. I also remember having to go and get a talking to for being signed out of class to go to the loo - everyone in the room as a 'repeat offender' was female, I do wonder if the staff were completely oblivious.

I think it should maybe be sick leave but under a category protected from discrimination? Making up 12 days a year as under ouryve's example is a lot of extra hours.

At least it is being talked about - I have in the past phoned in with 'upset tummy' although have been lucky enough not to need to take regular time off.

LastOneDancing Wed 02-Mar-16 16:31:46

The FB responses to this thread are already so depressing.

Personally I think the policy would be taken advantage of by a few, and would be another reason not to employ women 'incase' they suffered from painful periods.

Are there that many women whos periods impact them so badly that it needs a specific policy? (Genuine question, I'm very lucky).
If someone has a condition that impacts their ability to work, shouldn't this be addressed by an amendment to the sickness policy?

TickettyBoo Wed 02-Mar-16 17:08:29

It should be dealt with as sickness, a separate policy seems unnecessary. If they want to be flexible then have a flexible policy for all employees and promote equality and an understanding that people have different challenges in life whether childcare, health, family issues etc.

Having said that I should stay away when I have pmt as its then I'm most dangerous!! 😂😂😂

TickettyBoo Wed 02-Mar-16 17:09:00

Flexi time policy I meant

MeganBacon Wed 02-Mar-16 18:52:53

I thought there was almost an implication of hysteria about it which I was obviously very put off by - almost as if they are branding women inferior workers. I think the most effective way to improve women's rights in the workplace is to make men behave like women - make them take paternity leave, make them leave at 5 to collect children from nursery, give men time off to cover children's sickness, etc. That equalises the sexes without branding women inferior.

RockUnit Wed 02-Mar-16 19:17:09

I think I would prefer to see improvements in treatment of painful periods.

Yes, this.

UnGoogleable Wed 02-Mar-16 21:47:30

I think I would prefer to see improvements in treatment of painful periods


I'd like to not waste 7 of my fertile years being told by my GP that period pain is normal and I'd just have to deal with it, only to discover all too late that I have endometriosis which has progressed to damaging my bowel and ovaries.

GlomOfNit Thu 03-Mar-16 10:46:56

I'm not sure why they need an actual policy, though. Surely it would be better just to accommodate a woman if she was feeling sick, faint, or in a lot of pain - as they would if an employee was ill enough not to be able to work for any other reason. All that guff about 'women being 3 times more productive' in the week following the end of bleeding (what evidence for that do they have, anyway, and how do they measure productivity?) just opens the door to people saying that a female employee is just dead wood when she's menstruating. hmm

Newlife, your poor DD. sad I'm very glad mine didn't start until I was nearly 16 - they were brutal for the first few years.

OOAOML Thu 03-Mar-16 14:04:13

If women are '3 times as productive' the week after, why do they have to make up the hours from their 'period day'?

AgentCooper Thu 03-Mar-16 14:08:35

I think I would prefer to see improvements in treatment of painful periods

A million times this. See also PMDD.

One thing that nobody seems to have mentioned is what happens if everyone's period comes around the same time.

specialsubject Thu 03-Mar-16 16:58:55

I would LOVE to see the evidence that productivity in an office is affected by the menstrual cycle, with the obvious exception of someone in pain.

surely it is more important that anyone for whom a period is more than a minor inconvenience gets treatment? Why are women suffering like this in 2016?

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