Food delivery company Zomato took care of that, introducing 10 days a year of paid leave for employees who suffer from menstrual pain. It is the first large Indian company to envisage such a measure.

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According to some studies, 25% of women suffer from menstrual pain . A condition – whose technical name is dysmenorrhea – which negatively affects the ability to carry out daily activities, especially those at work in which productivity suffers a sharp decline . This is why Zomato , an Indian multinational that deals with home delivery and provides online services for finding restaurants, has decided to introduce a period of menstrual leave for all female and transgender employees of the company .equivalent to 10 days a year in which it is possible to take time off work without presenting a sick leave. The decision will be applied in all the offices of the countries in which the company operates and will involve about 2 thousand employees, that is 35% of the entire workforce . The founder and CEO of Zomato, Deepinder Goyal, motivated the new company policy as a choice aimed at “fostering a culture based on trust, truth and acceptance” .

How will the leave work?

In a letter addressed to employees, Goyal explained that the company workers will be able to take advantage of the leave by requesting it directly from the human resources portal. They have only one day for each menstrual cycle (it has been estimated that, out of an average duration of 3 or 5 days, only one is of dysmenorrhea). The maximum amount of 10 days has been calculated taking into account that a woman has 14 cycles a year – one every 28 days, approximately – and some of these could be concentrated on the weekend, thus redeeming the leave unnecessary. “We want women to feel free to say that they are not at work for this reason” , underlined Goyal who in fact ordered that the company, through a dedicated email service, welcomes complaints from employees who have been harassed or received nasty comments from other colleagues for taking leave. “Our job is also to make sure we take into account our biological needs, without compromising the quality of our work . 

Zomato is not the first Indian company to introduce this possibility (the first is called Culture Machine, a digital media company), but it is the largest and most influential, especially in a country where menstruation is still considered a taboo. At international level , the leave is expected only English Coexist in 2016 and the Code of Conduct of Nike since 2007. It is a measure, therefore, rarely adopted because, with the exception of some countries (such as Japan, Indonesia or Korea South), there is no ad hoc legislationand the measure is much debated especially among women as it could create further gender discrimination, making female workers less competitive than their male colleagues. The problem was raised, among others, by Barkha Dutt, a journalist for the Washington Post , who explained that policies such as those adopted by Zoomato “ghettoize women and strengthen biological determinism” .