There’s sick leave, menstrual leave (not in the USA), and maternity leave. But have you ever heard about menopause leave? Well, it’s legal in some countries and gaining traction in others.
Of course, the next question is, who’s offering it? As you know, the U.S. is slow or perhaps reluctant to get on the ball with anything related to the overall well-being of its citizens. It’s always profits over people. So no, they are not one of the countries offering menopause leave. Sorry!
Unsurprisingly, some countries in Europe, Asia, and Australia are now offering menopause leave. As for the U.S., talks aren’t even a thing of consideration. According to a fast company article, up to 20% of the U.S. workforce is currently affected by menopause symptoms. They also conducted a workplace survey, which found seventeen percent of women employees have quit a job or considered quitting due to menopause symptoms. So why aren’t deeper discussions about how to support people experiencing menopause in the workplace happening? Well, why don’t we have free healthcare? Go figure.
The UK has set up a Menopause Taskforce to “investigate the effects menopause has on women’s working lives, particularly later on in their careers.” Additionally, members of parliament called for menopause leave trials, and London’s Mayor Sadiq Kahn introduced a bill for menopause leave for City Hall employees in March 2022.
In London’s private sector, the Bank of Ireland Group now offers paid leave for women employees going through menopause to prevent them from exiting the workforce early. According to CNN Business, employees will be able to take up to 10 days off a year if they experience physical or psychological symptoms related to menopause. Other European banks that offer menopause leave include Danske and Deloitte. Gosh, if only the U.S. would.
Here are the countries that have introduced menopause leave or are in the process of doing so
In June 2021, the Japanese government passed a law allowing women to take up to five days of annual leave for menopause-related symptoms.
2. South Korea
In 2020, the South Korean government introduced a law allowing women to take up to three days of annual leave for menopause-related symptoms.
In 2021, the Italian government passed a law allowing women to take up to three days of annual leave for menopause-related symptoms.
In 2021, the Philippine Senate approved a bill that would allow women to take up to two days of leave per month for menopause-related symptoms.
Some companies in Australia have introduced menopause leave policies, but no nationwide legislation exists.
Like Australia, some companies have introduced menopause leave policies, but no nationwide legislation exists.
Menopause leave is not a general topic of conversation in the United States. Government and corporations can’t even wrap their heads around a discussion about the menopause process, muchless menopause in the workplace. Clearly, there is a long way for this “developed” country to go. The hope is that as awareness, conversations, and advocacy increase, governments and corporations will recognize the need to support menopause in the workplace and enact laws that reflect support.
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