A U.K. company is offering female employees paid time off to recover from menstrual pains.
Bex Baxter, who heads the community arts group Coexist, said she created the policy based on her own experiences with period cramps.
“I have managed many female members of staff over the years and I have seen women at work who are bent over double because of the pain caused by their periods,” she told the Bristol Post, noting that she’d also suffered from debilitating pain.
“I’d collapse or I’d be laid down in a room in agony,” she told the Toronto Star.
Baxter told The Huffington Post UK that she believes the policy will ultimately make the company more productive.
“When women are having their periods they are in a winter state, when they need to regroup, keep warm and nourish their bodies,” she said. “When a woman is in her ‘spring’ phase immediately after a period she can do the work of three women.”
Her decision comes after a new study that found that 17 percent of women have missed work, school, or other obligations during their periods due to stigma. It also reflects the sentiments behind a recent effort to make tampons free in the U.S.
“Menstruation is something women cannot control,” Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) said. “Menstrual products should not be treated as luxury items.”
There’s a similar push in the U.K., where sanitary products are classified as “luxury” items and subject to a 5 percent tax. Yet helicopters and several different types of cookies are not subject to any tax, The Daily Telegraph notes.
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