Addressing the health concerns of female employees in Australia
Female employees in Australia could receive 12 days of menstrual leave, as well as menopause leave, in a push by unions for entitlements to cater for people’s health experiences.
This comes as 11 million workers will be able to access to 10 days of paid domestic violence leave over a 12-month period from next year as the new entitlement was guaranteed in Fair Work Act, with the aim to get menstrual leave similarly recognised.
Some private Australian companies already offer such leave each year, although unions have acknowledged it will be an uphill battle to make menstrual leave mainstream in workplaces.
The Australian Workers Union (AWU), the Transport Workers Union, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union and the United Workers Union will all be part of the campaign.
AWU Queensland branch secretary Stacey Schinnerl, said, “Some women suffer throughout their entire working life. From the age they begin menstruating, to pregnancy – complications can arise in conceiving, carrying and post-natal issues, then peri-menopause symptoms arrive, followed by menopause,” she told the Australian.
“With this in mind, 10 days leave per year, and the current flexibility arrangements under the are insufficient in recognising the health concerns women face, in contrast to men – who receive the same entitlements but experience none of those health hurdles.”