The lower house of Italy’s Parliament has started discussing a draft law that, if approved, will mandate companies to grant three days of paid leave each month to female employees. If passed, Italy would become the first country in the Western hemisphere to have such a law.
In 1947, Japan passed a law allowing menstruating women to take days off work. Some companies like Nike also include menstrual leave in their code of conduct, however the debate continues as to whether menstrual leave is a medical necessity or discriminatory.
A YouGov survey of 1,000 women carried out for BBC Radio 5 Live found 52% had found it difficult to work because of the pain, while almost a third had taken time off work. Despite this, only 27% of women had told their bosses period pain was responsible.
Critics of the law say it could backfire and make employers more likely to hire men.