When applying for a period leave there should not be any embarrassment or stigma. In an e-mail to its employees, you should be free to tell people in internal groups or e-mails that you are on your day trip,’ says Zomato.
Food delivery company Zomato said on Saturday it would give up to 10 days of “period leave” every year to female workers, including trans people, as part of an attempt to combat what it said was stigma over the issue. The CEO of the company said the move was to “encourage a culture of trust, truth, and acceptance.”
Zomato is the highest-profile company in India to implement the program.
No guilt or stigma should be attached to applying for a period leave, “Zomato chief executive Deepinder Goyal said on Saturday in an email to staff.
“You should feel free to tell people in internal groups, or emails, that you are leaving for the day on your date.”
“A message for men – it shouldn’t be awkward for us to have our female colleagues sharing that they are on their period leave. This is a fact of life, and while we don’t completely understand what women are going through, we need to have faith in them when they say they need to sit out. I know that menstrual cramps are very painful for many women and we need to help them if we want to create a genuinely collaborative culture.
Established in 2008, Zomato, headquartered in Gurugram, is one of India’s best-known firms, employing over 5,000 people.
In 2018, the Supreme Court lifted a decades-long ban on menstrual-age women entering Kerala’s Sabarimala temple leading to a nationwide debate on women’s rights.
This move is a revolution and truly depicts how far we have come from an age where women workers were not respected and were discriminated against towards the modern age where women are considered as equally important strata of the society. This policy is a stepping stone towards the development of India and promoting women empowerment.
Here’s the full-text of Goyal’s email:
How many times have you had to send a message to your team saying “unwell today – taking the day off” and having to answer concerning questions about your health with a feeble “stomach upset / weakness, etc.” when you wanted to say “on my period, terrible cramps – need a heating pad, some chocolate and a lot of green tea (or something stronger) so I’m taking the day off”?
At Zomato, we want to foster a culture of trust, truth, and acceptance. Starting today, all women (including transgender people) at Zomato can avail up to 10 days of period leaves in a year.
-Why 10? Most women have ~14 menstrual cycles in a year. Adjusting for the probability of you having your periods on a weekend, you can now rightfully avail 10 extra leaves compared to men
-You can only take one-period leave for each menstrual cycle
-Zomato understands that men and women are born with different biological realities. It is our job to make sure that we make room for our biological needs, while not lowering the bar for the quality of our work and the impact that we create.
There shouldn’t be any shame or stigma attached to applying for a period left. You should feel free to tell people on internal groups, or emails that you are on your period leave for the day
-In case you face any unnecessary harassment, or distasteful comments from men or women about the fact that you applied for a period leave, or that you are vocal about it, please report them to [email protected] – our prevention of sexual harassment (POSH) team will quickly spring into action
-While we are introducing this leave to build a more inclusive work culture, a word of necessary advice –
-These leaves should only be availed if you are unable to attend to work
-If you do need to take the day off, please apply for the leave on the HR portal, communicate to your team that you will be unavailable, reschedule your meetings and proactively communicate if deadlines are getting impacted
Do not abuse these leaves or use them as a crutch to take time out for other pending tasks
-Take care of yourself – regular focus on fitness and diet has a positive impact on every bit of your physical and mental health”
A note for men – our female colleagues expressing that they are on their period leave shouldn’t be uncomfortable for us. This is a part of life, and while we don’t fully understand what women go through, we need to trust them when they say they need to test this out. I know that menstrual cramps are very painful for a lot of women – and we have to support them through it if we want to build a truly collaborative culture at Zomato.
Stay calm, and strong.