Since May 2016 the Trust has been trialing a menstrual workplace policy in our workplace. Experiences of menstruation and menopause can be very debilitating, yet we have been enculturated to mask their existence in the workplace, at schools and at home. This policy supports employees in their ability to adequately self-care during their period and menopause, while not being penalised by having to deplete their sick leave. Periods and menopause are not a sickness after all. This policy also seeks to remove the stigma and taboo surrounding menstruation and menopause.
In late May 2017 we published a blog on the Trust website, ‘Why we’ve introduced a menstrual policy and you should too’ encouraging readers to adopt our menstrual policy in their workplaces.
That week Herald Sun opinion writer Wendy Tuohy wrote an article about our menstrual policy, following up with an opinion piece which said, ‘the Victorian Women’s Trust’s call for women to be paid period leave is a bombshell. It is unapologetic and brazen and has potential to be a big catalyst for debate around women’s status at work.’
Angela Priestley, founding Editor of Women’s Agenda said, ‘As far as we know this is the first organisation to offer such a policy, but it won’t be the last.’
VWT Research and Advocacy Officer Casimira (co-author of the policy) continues to have wonderful phone calls and emails with individuals and organisations who are researching workplace policies which empower those who menstruate; interested in incorporating the menstrual policy into their workplace policies; and advocating for the inclusion of a menstrual policy into their enterprise bargaining agreements.
26 May 2017 – ‘Women call on employers to allow period leave’, Herald Sun (subscriber)
27 May 2017 – ‘Women with period pain should have 12 days of paid leave every year for severe cramps, equality group argues‘, Daily Mail Australia
29 May 2017 – ‘This Workplace Just Got a Menstrual Policy and Yours Can Copy It‘, Feminist Legal Clinic
29 May 2017 – ‘This workplace just got a menstrual policy and yours can copy it‘, Women’s Agenda
29 May 2017 – Interview, The Project (watch on Facebook)
30 May 2017 – ‘A number of women want employers to allow “period leave”‘, Nova 100
30 May 2017 – ‘Katrina Stokes: Women advocating for paid menstrual leave need to harden up, if only for the sake of equality‘, The Advertiser (subscriber)
30 May 2017 – ‘Call for ‘menstrual leave’ by young women may be a bombshell but hardly outrageous‘, Herald Sun (subscriber)
31 May 2017 – ‘Period Leave? Women, Stop Being A Pain‘, Mark Latham’s Outsiders
14 June 2017 – ‘Should your organisation consider menstrual leave?‘, Australian HR Institute
22 August 2017 – ‘Woman fired for having ‘heavy period’ at work files lawsuit‘, New York Post
8 August 2018 – ‘40% of women are taking days off. Should we have paid period leave?‘, triple j hack
10 August 2018 – Interview, triple j hack (‘Period leave, GBR scrutiny and traveling with a partner‘)
4 October 2018 – ‘Employer’s paid period leave policy in Australia stirs world debate’, CNN
19 March 2019 – Interview, The Lynda Steele Show (Canada)
19 August 2019 – Mornings with Jon Faine (37:50-41.26)
19 August 2019 – Interview, The Project (watch on Facebook)
Our Menstrual Policy is one way we support the health and wellbeing of our staff. Our policy is freely available and ready to be integrated into your workplace. Read more about why we created this policy and adopt it in your workplace.
This book digs deep into the menstrual taboo: where it exists, how it came to be and why it's so resilient. Our culture asks women and girls to view their bodies through a prism of negativity and fear. We want to change that.
The VWT has been trialling a menstrual leave policy and it’s been a great success. VWT staffers Casimira Melican and Grace Mountford explain the importance of contemporary and progressive workplaces in supporting people who experience menstruation and menopause.
so that in this lifetime we will be: