More sick days should come: no work with menstrual pain in Spain

Additional sick days should come
No labor with menstrual pain in Spain

Extra paid sick leave for women with serious menstrual problems – Spain’s leftist government is expected to pass such a regulation today. It would be a first in Europe. But the rule is controversial.

Working despite severe abdominal pain during the monthly period – women in Spain should be freed from this torture in the future. This is provided for in a left-wing government bill, which is to be officially presented to the Council of Ministers on Tuesday. Accordingly, Spaniards should have the right to stay at home in such cases.

The state should bear the costs of the loss of work as long as the pain persists, as confirmed by the ministry upon request. To be released from work, an affected woman must consult a doctor. Spain would be the first country in Europe to adopt such a law. According to Spanish media, the bill provides for three additional sick days per month with continued payment of wages in the event of menstrual problems. In the event of particularly serious complaints, this quota can be extended to five days per month on presentation of a medical certificate.

In Spain – unlike Germany – the payment of wages in the event of illness is only maintained from the fourth day of incapacity for work. Employees receive 60 percent of the assessment basis from the fourth to the 20th day.

So far there have only been a few extra sick days

The initiative was pushed by Minister for Equal Opportunities Irene Montero of the smaller left-wing alternative coalition partner Unidas Podemos. “We will recognize in law the special right of women who have a painful period to be absent (from work),” Equality Minister Montero of the left-wing Podemos party wrote on Twitter.

The project is to be introduced as part of a new abortion law regulation. In the future, it will allow women over the age of 16 to have abortions without parental consent. There were reservations about the bill within the ranks of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s PSOE socialist party.

Economic Affairs Minister Nadia Calviño has warned that the regulations could put women at a disadvantage in competing for jobs. The government will never take any action that could “stigmatize women”, Calviño stressed.

Extra sick days for women with severe menstrual problems are only available in a few countries outside of Europe, including South Korea and Indonesia.

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