What’s the big deal about #FOP? Plenty, say employees and hirers
Taking their cue from nations such as South Korea, Italy, and Japan, where menstrual leave is a part of the leave policy in most firms, two Mumbaibased companies — Culture Machine and Gozoop — have decided to grant paid leave to their women employees on the first day of period (FOP).
Devleena S. Majumder, President of Human Resources at Culture Machine, says that this is “a gesture of support for all our women employees. This step relieves the person (suffering menstrual cramps), preserves good cheer in the team, and is seen as a sensitive measure.”
If this paves the way for more companies, especially those in big cities, to follow suit, the workforce won’t be uniformly supportive — even some women we spoke to dislike the idea of this leave.
Supporting FOP leave, Shirin Saluja, a marketing professional, feels “it’s a blessing if I don’t take my worst self to the office”. Sanya, employee at a leading audit firm, also believes the leave will “enable [a woman] to give more dedicated services to the business”.
However, recruiter Pooja Bhandari says, “[Our firm] is targeting a 3:2 female-to-male ratio by 2020, so such an initiative will [affect] overall productivity on days when female employees are not available.” Shivani Bali Nagpal, HR person at a media house, says, “I do feel Indian employers have to be gentle towards women, given the contextual history, but menstrual leave doesn’t cut the ice for me.”
Speaking for men who see women as taking advantage of being… well, women, a vehement Kartik Dhar calls this a “weak” initiative. He predicts that FOP leave, if given, is “another reason why women will not get hired”.
However, Sarung Subnani, HR person with an online agency, believes that since most organisations have more male employees than female staff, hampered productivity wouldn’t be an issue.
THE HR HEAD AT ONE OF THE TWO MUMBAI FIRMS OFFERING MENSTRUAL LEAVE CALLS IT ‘A GESTURE OF SUPPORT FOR OUR WOMEN EMPLOYEES’