Italian women may soon become the first in Europe to be offered three days of 'menstrual leave' if they are suffering painful periods.
Italy's parliament has been discussing the measure, which would mean companies have to offer three paid days off each month to women who get bad aches. The lower house of Italy's Parliament has been debating a law which, if approved, would entitle all women to three extra days leave a month.
‘Italian labour laws are already quite generous to women - they are entitled to five months' paid maternity leave, on which they receive 80 percent of their salary.’
The Italian edition of women's magazine Marie Claire welcomed it as 'a standard-bearer of progress and social sustainability.' However, in women's magazine Donna Moderna, Lorenza Pleuteri feared it might backfire on ladies.
It's not the first time this kind of legislation has been mooted, with countries including Japan and Indonesia already allowing women time off.
Experts have previously argued it makes sense as it would make workers feel happier and more comfortable. While that's the view of some in Italy, not everyone agrees, reports The Washington Post.
Lorenza Pleuteri, writing in the magazine Donna Moderna (Modern Woman), wrote: 'Employers could become even more inclined to hire men rather than women.' Italian labour laws are already quite generous to women - they are entitled to five months' paid maternity leave, on which they receive 80 percent of their salary. Mothers can then take an extra six months' leave, receiving 30 percent of their salaries.
Daniela Piazzalunga, an economist, told the Washington Post: 'Women are already taking days off because of menstrual pains, but the new law would allow them to do so without using sick leaves or other permits.'
But she said if it was passed there could be 'negative repercussions'.
'The demand for female employees among companies might decrease, or women could be further penalized both in terms of salary and career advancement,' she added.