Periods in the Workplace...and what you can do to improve employee productivity
With almost 40% of the global workforce comprised of women, and up to 20% of women reporting extreme period pain at the start of their period, that’s a huge number of employees whose lives are being derailed by the overwhelming pain, discomfort and ‘brain fog’ caused by menstruation each month.
With talk of Paid Menstrual Leave entering the ongoing corporate and national discussion on how employers can better support women in the workplace, it should come as no surprise that guaranteeing monthly leave to female employees for symptoms that cannot be easily proven raises the question, ‘is this the most sustainable solution?’
Is Paid Menstrual Leave key?
According to a study conducted by Southern Cross University’s National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine and Western Sydney University’s NICM Health Research Institute, 1 in 3 women living with endometriosis - a painful disorder affecting the female reproductive system, had either lost their job or were passed over for a promotion due to difficulties managing the crippling symptoms in the workplace.
In a perfect world, women could enjoy the comfort and convenience of unrestricted paid leave to manage the symptoms in the privacy of their own homes. With this in mind, the Victorian Women’s Trust have introduced menstrual leave on the grounds that people shouldn’t be forced to “delve into their sick leave” when they’re menstruating because technically, they are not sick. While it’s hard to disagree with this notion, businesses owners now find themselves between a rock and a hard place.
Can an employer ethically monitor employees claiming Paid Menstrual Leave? Is what is best for the individual also best for the business? If not, what can employers do to ‘fill the gap’ where women feel least supported during their most disruptive time of the month?
Small steps lead to significant success
In the UK, it is common practice for tampon dispensers to be located in most public toilets and workplace bathrooms – a small gesture to ensure women are never ‘caught out’ when their period strikes.
A study conducted in Italy in 2012 found that 84% of women suffered from dysmenorrhoea – more commonly known as ‘painful periods’. With these numbers in mind, employers who value high productivity and efficiency in the workplace should ultimately provide women with the necessary resources and period ‘essentials’ to ensure they are able to perform their job to the same standard as their male counterparts.
With 43% of the 408 women who participated in the study reporting that the pain occurred every period, that’s a large portion of employees suffering in silence for twelve weeks (or more) in any given year.
Though most women will carry basic period essentials in their handbag including pads, painkillers or the menstrual cup, many have experienced the feeling of panic when left with no other option than to resort to the emergency wad of toilet paper – and that’s just not conducive to a dynamic workplace.
Jnine has the answer
It needn’t be all doom and gloom for female workers 12+ weeks of the year. With useful period supplies at the ready, employers can choose to improve women’s focus and enhance their output by providing employees with a ‘menstrual toolkit’ to help them through their most difficult days of the month.
Jnine understands that the female hormone can turn your life upside down – especially in the workplace. That is why we have curated the most effective products to provide relief from your typical menstrual cycle symptoms, as well as more severe conditions such as Endometriosis or PCOS.
Whether it’s a disposable heat pack for lower back pain or a pack of trusty tampons, Jnine will build the most useful period resource box for your employees, so that your female staff are able to perform optimally every day of the month.