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 and Menopause Wellbeing Policy and you should too’ encouraging readers to adopt our Menstrual and Menopause Wellbeing 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 – ‘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)

26 August 2019 – ‘UK MPs pushing for policies that protect women going through menopause’, Newstalk ZB NZ

27 August 2019, ‘Kate Hawkesby: Should workplaces help women going through menopause?’, Newstalk ZB NZ

15 August 2020 – ‘Should “period leave” be on the agenda?’, 9Honey

9 September 2020 – “What is menstrual leave and why is it so bloody important?”, Cova Conversations

Menstrual and Menopause Wellbeing Policy

Menstrual and Menopause Wellbeing Policy

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.

Read more
About Bloody Time

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.

Read more
Hope and progress: Reproductive Health and Wellbeing Leave

Hope and progress: Reproductive Health and Wellbeing Leave


Read about HACSU's campaign to introduce Reproductive Health and Wellbeing Leave as one of their key claims in their current Mental Health Enterprise Agreement bargaining.

Casimira Melican Read more

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