Thiruvananthapuram: After Mumbai-based Culture Machine’s announcement earlier this month to give its employees the option of taking leave on the first day of their menstrual cycle, Mathrubhumi TV adopted a similar policy on Monday. The channel will now allow women employees 12 more leaves a year under its FOP policy (first day of period leave policy), over and above what they now have.
The firm’s joint managing director MV Shreyams Kumar said he was inspired by Culture Machine. “It was an eye-opener as channel workers do have a stressful job and work odd hours. They often work for extended hours. We need to understand that during menstruation, they might be grinding their teeth to subdue the pain. Do not think of it as sympathy; it is more of understanding women,” he said.
Indonesia, South Korea and Taiwan are some of the other countries that have implemented the FOP policy. Companies like Nike and Coexist too allow their staff to take FOP leaves.
Jisha Kallingal, who works in the firm’s Thiruvananthapuram bureau, said that Kumar’s decision was welcomed amid applause at a meeting. “We work odd hours, even early morning shifts. We don’t have the option of emergency leave. Now, we can confidently avail one; it has become a right. Moreover, it has brought a positive culture change in office and not a taboo. We can openly tell our colleagues the reason,” she said.
When asked about the impact of the ‘period leave’, Kumar said that he was not bothered about the monetary aspect, but only the social effect. “It is all about supporting our staff and ensuring their happiness,” he said.