Anhui province is to introduce menstrual pain leave for female employees, The Beijing News reported on Tuesday.

Women who are suffering from menstrual pain leave may take 1 to 2 days off with employers who refuse to approve the leave liable to fines.

Employers who refuse to follow the new policy may be reported for infringing upon female workers’ rights.

Anhui street. Photo: Wikicommons

Beijing News reported that although it was not difficult to get medical certificates for menstrual pain, many gynaecologists said that it was difficult to gauge the degree of pain. Companies also expressed concerns over increased pressure in hiring female employees in light of the policy.

Speaking to Beijing News, a civil servant said “we can take ordinary leave, but it’s the work that can’t be delayed.” She also told Beijing News that local shops in pursuit of profit will probably make the policy difficult to promote and execute.

Another woman told Beijing News that she welcomed the policy, since she suffered from terrible cramps that “painkillers can’t really help with.”

Photo: Pixabay.

Anhui is not the first Chinese province to introduce menstrual pain leave. Previously, Hainan and Hubei also introduced the policy in 1993 and 2009 respectively. It was also reported by Chinese media last November that Guangdong was considering it.

According to Mingpao citing a 2015 study, Hainan province – where the policy is not compulsory – found it difficult to force employers to approve menstrual pain leave. They could only make suggestions, leaving the policy much less effective than intended.

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.