What’s the big deal about #FOP? Plenty, say em­ploy­ees and hir­ers

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Monika Rawal Kukreja

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’

PHOTO: ISTOCK

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