The bill gives workers with menstrual pain the right to take time off as long as they need it, with the state social security system — not employers — paying for sick leave.
Representative image. 1 credit
Madrid: Spain’s cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill granting paid sick leave to women with severe menstrual pain, which would be a first in Europe.
The bill gives workers with menstrual pain as much time off as they need, with the state’s social security system — not employers — picking up the sick leave tab.
As with paid leave for other health reasons, a doctor must approve temporary medical incapacity.
The bill still needs to be approved by parliament, with a vote expected for months.
It was unclear whether Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s minority coalition government, which has made women’s rights a priority, had enough support in the assembly to pass it.
The proposal has divided the coalition and even split unions, with some saying it could stigmatize women in the workplace and favor the recruitment of men.
But Equalities Minister Irene Montero said the law would recognize a health condition that has largely been swept under the rug so far.
“Periods will no longer be taboo,” she told a press conference after the cabinet approved the bill.
Read also : Explained: What is period leave and which countries allow it?
“We will be the first country in Europe to introduce fully state-funded temporary sick leave for painful and disabling periods,” she added.
‘No more hiding our pain’
“No more having to go to work in pain, no more taking pills before arriving at work and having to hide the fact of the days when we have pain that prevents us from working.”
Montero belongs to the far-left Podemos party, Sanchez’s junior coalition partner who was the driving force behind the law.
Menstrual leave is currently only offered in a handful of countries around the world, including South Korea and Indonesia, and none in Europe.
The Spanish legislation is part of a much broader reproductive health reform that will include changes to national abortion laws.
It will end the obligation for minors aged 16 and 17 to obtain parental consent before terminating a pregnancy and will include measures to increase access to abortion in private hospitals.
Spain decriminalized abortion in 1985 in cases of rape, if a fetus is malformed or if childbirth presents a serious physical or psychological risk to the mother.
The scope of the law was widened in 2010 to allow abortion on demand within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, but access to the procedure is complicated by the fact that many doctors in public hospitals refuse to perform abortions.
Read all Latest news, New trends, Cricket News, bollywood news,
India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.