Food delivery giant Zomato has introduced a new workplace policy designed to help women when they are going through their period.
Zomato has given all female employees an extra 10 days of leave a year that is listed as 'period leave'.
The Indian-based company, one of the largest restaurant aggregators and food delivery players in the game, says the new policy aims to reduce the stigma attached to women's menstrual cycles.
Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal revealed the period leave policy in an email to employees on the weekend.
He said: "There shouldn't be any shame or stigma attached to applying for a period leave. You should feel free to tell people on internal groups, or emails that you are on your period leave for the day.
"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 rest 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."
The company says that women should only use these days if the period pain is so severe that they're unable to work. It shouldn't be used just because they want a day off.
While women have a period once a month, many have wondered why it's 10 days of leave rather than 12. Zomato said it had adjusted for the probability that some menstrual cycles will occur on a weekend and that 10 is an acceptable number of leave days.
According to the Guardian, Zomato is the most high-profile company in India to make such a policy.
While Hindus in India generally celebrate the first time a girl experiences menstruation, the normal bodily function can become much more taboo in some traditional areas as time wears on.
Some girls and women aren't permitted to enter temples or the kitchen if they are going through their menstrual cycle and some have to miss school or work as a result.
In some areas of the Jhabua district, in the country's centre, the rules around menstruation are very serious. There is the belief that 'menstruation is a disease and not a normal biological process' and women are not allowed to sleep on beds, walk into a kitchen, touch male members of their family or eat spicy foods.
Zomato hopes to change attitudes with its new policy and it could spark a wave of other companies to follow suit.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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