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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.’ 

You can see our policy here and also download a template of the policy here.

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.

Media

Image from rupikaur.com

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 – ‘Paid Period Leave In Action: This woman reveals how her office is dealing with women on their period‘, Whimn

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)

16 July 2019 – ‘Should You Get The Day Off Work If You Have Severe Period Pain?’, 10 Daily 

19 August 2019 – ‘Menstrual leave the new “woke” workplace right’, Sydney Morning Herald

19 August 2019 – Mornings with Jon Faine (37:50-41.26)

19 August 2019 – Interview, The Project (watch on Facebook)

Menstrual and Menopause Wellbeing Policy

Menstrual and Menopause Wellbeing Policy

so that in this lifetime we will be: equally paid for the same work safe on the streets and in our homes equally represented in our parliament and...

About Bloody Time
Projects

About Bloody Time

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.

Why we've introduced a menstrual policy and you should too

Why we've introduced a menstrual policy and you should too

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.

Casimira Melican and Grace Mountford
Menstrual Activism is Taking Over the World

Menstrual Activism is Taking Over the World

A new wave of period activism is a-flowin’ (ha) around the world. High on the agenda is tackling period poverty to support  the millions of...

Alice Chambers

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