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Research design.



Literature Review..

Research objective.

Research novelty.

Research framework.

Labour laws.

Other nations.

Labour Unions and collective bargaining power


Suggestions for legal policy and solutions.


Suggestions for future researchers.




Menstruation leave is one of the most important factors that affect women's productivity and well-being. This paper aims to highlight the reasons why menstruation leaves should be made legal in India. The research presented here carried out a comparative analysis of the ways in which other nations apply this idea. This research article has also discussed how paid menstrual leave is negotiated through collective bargaining processes. The paper offers suggestions and guidelines for the creation and adoption of menstruating leave policies in Indian organisations, taking into account the various requirements of workforce demographics. The significance of this study is in offering a thorough examination of the legal setting and making suggestions that could enhance the legal and regulatory framework relating to menstruant leave in the workplace. It also provides insights into the possible advantages it provides to people and societies as a whole by analysing the various techniques used by different nations. This can help dispel myths, challenge preconceptions, and foster understanding and support.



This study paper's major goal is to emphasize the reasons why menstruation leaves should be made legal in India. Additionally, how the application of the same could influence working women's productivity. In addition, the following piece has covered the difficulties in implementing menstruation leave policies. Some suggestions were extended to assist with this.


Research design

Utilising the current legal sources on menstruation leaves, this doctrinal study was conducted. Analysed pertinent labour regulations at the national and international levels and perform a thorough assessment of the legal literature to look for any implied menstrual leave provisions.



Menstrual leave, Stigma, Workplace well-being, Productivity and menstruation, Menstrual leave policy




Every working woman is now claiming or wishing to claim the right to paid menstruation leaves in the workplace. However, there is no specific legislation or provision that emphasizes the significance of the same. Even so, some businesses do pay for menstruation absences taken by employees in order to safeguard and advance employee wellbeing. “Why should women be entitled to menstruation leave?” is the emphasis of this research paper. It also focuses on how this menstrual leave idea can be incorporated into the laws that already exist. The research presented here carried out a comparative analysis of the ways in which other nations apply this idea. This research article has also discussed how paid menstruation leave is negotiated through collective bargaining processes. In addition, all of the significant obstacles to the implementation of this menstrual leave policy have been addressed in this piece, along with some suggestions regarding how to address them legally. This is the starting point of the contentious new idea of paid menstruation leave. Some might regard it as a discriminatory policy that perpetuates gender stereotypes and undercuts women's rights, despite the fact that some perceive it as a much-needed step to alleviate the physical and psychological difficulties of menstruation. The topic of paid menstruation leave in India will be looked at from a legal, social, and ethical standpoint in this research paper.


Literature Review

Investigating the body of knowledge and scholarly debates around menstruation leave, looking at its effects on worker well-being, output, gender equality, and organisational dynamics. This seeks to shed light on the advantages, difficulties, and potential repercussions of establishing menstrual leave policies in various work situations by critically analysing the existing literature.


  • Articles:

Menstrual Leave: The Next Work-Life Benefit (2018), By Deepti Arora and Akanksha Nigam, discussed the attempts made by the Indian government for introducing menstruation leave. This article also covered the 2017 Menstruation Benefit Bill. It has also mentioned a Mumbai-based business called “culture machine” that adopted the first day of the period leave policy. It has also highlighted how other nations have passed laws requiring paid menstrual leave. This piece has also covered a number of nations whose leave policies include menstruation leave. This study offered recommendations for creating a friendly environment for women's period care at work, flexible leave policies, and lectures to working women to raise knowledge of women's menstrual hygiene[1].


The Netherlands cross-sectional survey "Productivity loss due to menstruation-related symptoms: a nationwide cross-sectional survey among women" by Mark E. Schoep and Eddy M. M. Adang discussed the rate of productivity loss in women during menstruation due to menstrual symptoms. The financial strain that women bear was also examined by this study. This study divided the cost of productivity into two categories: presenteeism and absenteeism. In contrast to absenteeism, which referred to the overall amount of time spent away from work, presenteeism described the loss of productivity at work. According to the study's findings[2], the majority of women favored flexibility during their periods, such as working from home or taking a day off.


According to Jyothsna (2018), a certain number of days of "wellness leave[3]" can be granted to both male and female employees to protect their privacy and their right to leave. The study by Rachel B. Levit (2020) provided a thorough assessment of the menstrual leave regulations that are now in place in various nations, commented on the benefits and drawbacks of menstrual leave, and covered how the medicalization of menstruation might result in the perception that menstruation is a disease. This study advocated for the establishment of breakrooms[4] in the workplace as a replacement for menstruation leave. Female labour force[5] participation in India was explored by Rehmat Swani (2020). It emphasised the need of the paid menstrual leave programme and touched on thethe delibrating effects of menstruation. The legal perspective was covered by Adrija (2021) by delving into the constitutionality[6] of menstruation leave. After describing the history of menstrual leave in other countries and outlining the situation in India, Prithivi Raj (2021) proposed the idea of menstrual flexibility[7], which would allow women to take time off while they are menstruating and make up for it by working more or finishing the task on other days. This report also suggested taking a wellness break. Sakshi Kanodia (2021) went into more detail about the 2017 menstruation benefits bill[8], outlining the overall situation as well as the arguments in favour of and against menstrual leave. Sunishtha Moghe (2022) has provided numerous examples of businesses in India that have implemented menstrual leave. In order to avoid compromising productivity, it was suggested in this study that menstrual leave could be coupled by a policy condition like no backlog[9] of work. A summary of the need for separate menstrual leaves and how Indian organisations[10] have already adopted this as a corporate governance practise was provided in an article by Anshul Praksh (2023). The subject of this paper went into detail about the menstrual hygiene laws that various countries have in place.


  • Previous attempts for menstrual leaves : Menstrual leave and menstrual health product laws have been introduced in Parliament, but they have not yet proven successful. Menstruation Benefits Bill from 2017 and the Women's Sexual, Reproductive, and Menstrual Rights Bill from 2018 are two examples.


Access to free menstrual health products and the right to menstrual leave for women Bill, 2022: The proposed Bill would extend the benefit to students and give women and transwomen three days of paid time off for menstruation. According to studies[11] cited in the bill, close to 65% of girls who missed school because of their periods claimed it had an effect on their daily school activities.


Research objective

  • This research paper focuses on how the existing labour laws can be extended to cover the menstrual leave policy.
  • This research paper analyses whether collective bargaining can be helpful in implementing the menstrual leave policy
  • To put out suggestions and guidelines for the creation and adoption of menstrual leave policies in Indian organisations, taking into account the various requirements of workforce demographics.
  • to research the possible advantages and difficulties of menstruation leave implementation in Indian organisations


Research novelty

  • The novelty comes in offering a thorough examination of the Indian context and pinpointing the particular elements affecting the uptake and efficacy of mnestrual leave policy.
  • The comparative viewpoint offers important insights into the paralles, discrepancies, and potential takeaways for india from worldwide practises. The novelty is in examining how India might benefit from guidelines learned from other countries to assist with the creation of effective menstrual leave laws.
  • The significance is in offering a thorough analysis of the legal setting and making suggestions that could bring legal and regulatory framework relating to menstruation leave in india.
  • The study can pinpoint the limitations and problems that prevent the adoption and acceptance of such rules by concentrating on the difficulties involved with adopting menstruation leave. Offering real-world perspectives and practical suggestions to address these issues in the context of India is novel.


Research framework

Labour laws

It is true that Indian law offers women, support and care during their pregnancy. However, the menstrual cycle, which is the first stage of a woman's journey has generally been disregarded or given little attention by society. Even maternity benefits and paternity benefits were originally seen as useless or discriminatory, but after numerous private sector businesses voluntarily established maternity leave policies, the beliefs around productivity loss were actually disproved. Policymakers have responded to the critiques over time by passing laws and legislation on the same. Maternity and paternity leaves are now widely accepted in society on moral and social grounds. In a similar vein, menstruation leaves may currently be perceived as an additional perk or a discriminating policy, but it should be understood that menstrual leaves place an emphasis on treating female employees with justice and humanity. The menstrual leave policy helps with a particular health need. Giving women time off for self-care during their periods, which is a natural biological function, helps strengthen their immune systems.


The factories act of 1948 provides several provisions that provide women employees with legal protection, such as the ban on dangerous employment, limitations on working hours, and provisions for maternity benefits. The mining legislation of 1952 also contains rules to safeguard the rights and welfare of female employees, including limitations on certain activities and the installation of particular facilities to shield them from potential dangers. The Maternity Benefit Act, on the other hand, is largely concerned with providing benefits and protection to women during pregnancy and childbirth, such as the right to maternity leave, nursing breaks, and leave for medical abortions or miscarriages. While not specifically related to menstruation leave, these clauses can be seen as a foundation for safeguarding the health of women. It would be beneficial to amend these laws in order to include menstruation leave. This can be accomplished by defining menstrual leave precisely and establishing its duration. Granting paid leave is advised to ensure financial security during these times. To avoid prejudice against female employees who request menstruation absences, a non-discrimination clause ought to be inserted.


Other nations

The menstrual leave regulations have already begun to be implemented in a number of nations. Countries are moving towards establishing inclusive and encouraging work environments that put a priority on the well-being and productivity of women employees by establishing menstrual leave policies. We can acquire insights into the significance of addressing menstruation health in the workplace and the possible advantages it provides to people and societies as a whole by analysing the various techniques used by different nations.


Women are permitted to take time off work for menstrual health-related difficulties under the terms of the Act on the Welfare of Workers Who Take Care of Children or Other Family Members in Japan (often referred to as the "Act on Family Care Leave"). In Japan menstrual leave is legalized since 1947. This law aims to promote and accommodate women in the workplace while also acknowledging the impact menstrual health has on women's well-being. Although the Japanese Act on Family Care Leave establishes a framework for menstruation leave, it is crucial to take into account the cultural and social environment in which it is put into practice. However, the existence of this rule demonstrates a knowledge of the significance of establishing a more inclusive and understanding workplace culture as well as addressing women's menstrual health requirements. In Spain, a doctor's certificate describing period pain is required in order to receive paid menstrual leave. Women in South Korea[12] are permitted to take one-day menstruation leave  per month. The law is rigorous; if an employer denies a request for leave, they could be fined up to 5 million won. The gender equality act in Taiwan offers women three days. Since 2003, 2 days of paid menstruation leave have been permitted in Indonesia.


Labour Unions and collective bargaining power

Collective bargaining is a tool that female employees can utilise to obtain their menstruation leaves. Menstrual leave might be discussed during negotiations between labour unions and employers. The requirements of female employees can be met by promoting this. Labour unions can inform their members of this menstrual leave policy and solicit their suggestions and comments on it. A survey or research can be conducted by labour unions to learn more about menstruation leave policies among members of the union. Additionally, labour unions and women's rights organisations can work together to encourage businesses to establish a menstruation leave policy.


However, these collective negotiating techniques might not always work. Because it depends on each labour union's leaders' effectiveness and negotiation skills. Additionally, female employees who do not belong to the labour unions might not receive the same advantages. Without a powerful collective voice, promoting a menstrual leave policy through collective bargaining may be more difficult. Additionally, compared to problems like wage hikes or working hours, menstruation leave may not be a priority for all labour unions. And for this reason, a different legal instrument or provision must be used to mandate and carry out the same.



The implementation of the menstrual leave policy has several issues. Yes, it is crucial to address the demands of the well-being of women but there are still a number of challenges to be solved. A few of the typical difficulties are listed above.


  • Concerns about disclosure:

When a woman employee requests a menstruation break, she must reveal her menstrual cycle to everyone at work. For example, an IT employee would be required to mark her monthly dates in the Google calendar in order to claim her menstrual leave, which might be unsettling to some female employees. In addition, some women may have irregular menstrual cycles or deal with other health difficulties during their period that they would rather keep quiet. Menstruation dates could unintentionally expose personal health issues or information that women don't feel comfortable sharing with coworkers.


  • Funding:

Employers, especially small enterprises, may incur costs while implementing paid menstruation leave programmes. To cover for employees who take menstruation leave, employers may need to hire more personnel or supply temporary employment. Paid menstruation leave programmes may be difficult to finance, especially in low-income nations or businesses with limited profit margins.


  • Enforcement Mechanisms:

It might be difficult to make sure that employers abide by their paid menstruation leave policy. Employers might occasionally treat women differently or penalise them for taking time off for menstruation. For companies to adhere to paid menstrual leave rules, enforcement mechanisms may need to be put in place. It may be difficult to enforce menstruation leave at work since coworkers or bosses may discriminate against those who take menstrual leaves. Additionally, there is a danger that female employees will abuse this absence to avoid meeting deadlines or finishing duties.


  • Timeframe and recurrence:

Menstrual health requirements for women might vary greatly, with some having more severe symptoms or health issues that need for longer or more frequent leaves of absence. It can be difficult to determine the length and frequency of paid menstrual leave. Depending on their particular health demands, some women may need menstrual leave more frequently or for a longer amount of time than others. To account for these variations and guarantee that all women have access to the leave they require, policies may need to be flexible.


  • Could make employers reluctant to hire women:

In some cases, businesses may decide not to hire women because they must provide these advantages to them; instead, they may choose to hire men. And this will make it impossible for women to work. So, would providing women with paid menstruation leave be advantageous to them or would it just be treating them less favourably because of their natural characteristics and possibly misinterpreting them as unfit for the job?


Suggestions for legal policy and solutions

  • Working collaboratively:

The government may offer financial support, incentives, or tax breaks in exchange for providing paid menstruation leaves. Alternately, the businesses could partner with non-governmental organisations or philanthropic foundations to help with policy implementation. The majority of businesses already made sure to provide health insurance for their employees, so collaborating with health insurance providers to incorporate menstrual health-related concerns including the paid leave provisions under the customised health insurance policy will be an effective solution.


  • Annual reports:

Employers should be required to demonstrate in their annual reports how the paid menstruation leave policy was implemented throughout the year in order to ensure adequate compliance. Only then will there be rigorous compliance. This part would include information on how the policy was implemented, how many employees had used their menstrual leave, and any costs or modifications made to comply with the policy.


  • Open discussions:

This policy can help to break the silence on menstruation  creating safe settings for open dialogues, which will help normalise the subject. Promoting conversation in settings including workplaces, and communities can help dispel myths, challenge preconceptions, and foster understanding and support. Thus, a woman need not feel self-conscious or unpleasant when requesting a menstrual break; if she prefers not to share her personal information, she may simply request the leave by sending a self-declaration through email to the HR.


  • Address discrimination:

Promote the idea among employers that women's menstrual health is a normal aspect of life rather than an issue. In order to prevent gender-based discrimination in hiring and employment practises, we should have legislative protections in place. Support legislation and regulations that uphold equal opportunities and provide safeguards against employment discrimination. Promote just and inclusive policies and practises by collaborating with governmental organisations, labour unions, and advocacy groups.



  • This study does not collect primary data or conduct empirical analysis; it only analyses already-existing legal sources.
  • The availability and accessibility of legal materials may have an impact on the research, especially in situations where laws or regulations are not extensively disseminated


Suggestions for future researchers

  • Examine the physical and mental health aspects of menstruation and how they relate to work productivity and well-being.
  • Examine the influence of menstrual leave on employee health outcomes.
  • Examine the cultural perspectives and attitudes that various societies have towards menstruation and menstrual leave.
  • Recognise how cultural variables affect the adoption and use of menstrual leave policies.






In conclusion, the transformation of menstruation leave from a personal matter to a workplace right constitutes an important step towards identifying and addressing the particular demands and difficulties faced by women being an employee. This research paper focuses on the justifications for making menstruation leave legal in India and examines how other countries have implemented similar laws. This study offers helpful insights and suggestions for developing inclusive and supportive work environments by looking at the legal, social, and ethical aspects of menstruation leave, as well as the possible benefits and challenges of its implementation. Despite obstacles like questions about disclosure, funding, enforcement tactics, and determining the length and frequency of leave, these problems can be resolved with the help of the given recommendations. It can aid in the advancement of gender equality, the welfare of women, and the promotion of acceptance and support in society at large.



[1] Deepti Arora, Akanksha Nigam, Menstrual leave - The Next Work-Life Benefit (2018), https://samvad.sibmpune.edu.in/index.php/samvad/article/view/140569

[2] Mark E. Schoep, Eddy M. M. Adang, Productivity loss due to menstruation-related symptoms: a nationwide cross-sectional survey among women (2019), https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/9/6/e026186.full.pdf

[3] Jyothsna Latha Belliappa, Menstrual Leave Debate: Opportunity to Address Inclusivity in Indian Organizations (2018), https://www.academia.edu/40753753/Menstrual_Leave_Debate_Opportunity_to_Address_Inclusivity_in_Indian_Organizations

[4] Rachel B. Levitt, Jessica L. Barnack-Tavlaris, Addressing Menstruation in the Workplace: The Menstrual Leave Debate (2020), https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-15-0614-7_43#auth-Rachel_B_-Levitt

[5] Rehmat Swani, Labor resilience: paid menstrual leave and women’s economic empowerment in india (2020), https://ijsser.org/2020files/ijsser_05__90.pdf

[6] Adrija Bhattacharya, Stotram Kumar, Amarendra Pattnaik, menstrual leave at workplace: employees’ point of view (2021), https://ksom.ac.in/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/33-44Parikalpana-Vol.17I.pdf?x75894

[7] Prithivi raj, Antra Pandit, Implementation Menstrual Leave Policy In India: An Empirical Study (2021), https://www.nmimshyderabad.org/docs/Prithivi%20Raj%20-%20Paper.pdf

[8] Sakshi Kanodia, Bhanu Srivastava, Menstrual Leave Awakening to the New Dawn (2021), https://www.ijlmh.com/wp-content/uploads/Menstrual-Leave-Awakening-to-the-New-Dawn.pdf

[9] Sunishtha Moghe, Dr Radhika Jagtap, The Feasibility of Menstrual Leave as Human Resource Policy in India: A Gender Perspective (2022), https://www.bildbd.com/index.php/blj/article/download/491/315

[10] Anshul Prakash, Looking Beyond the Law: The Case of Menstrual Leave in India (2023) https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2023/03/07/looking-beyond-the-law-the-case-of-menstrual-leave-in-india/

[11] https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-updates/daily-news-analysis/menstrual-leaves#:~:text=Bill%20in%202018.-,Right%20of%20Women%20to%20Menstrual%20Leave%20and%20Free%20Access%20to,extend%20the%20benefit%20for%20students.

[12] https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/the-global-push-for-paid-menstrual-leave-as-spain-brings-in-law-378912


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