Women with period pain will be given as much paid ‘menstrual leave’ as they need in Spain

Spanish women are set to be given time off work for severe period pain as legislation is passed to allow additional sick leave.  


The law, which passed by 185 votes in favour to 154 against, is aimed at breaking a taboo on the subject, the government said.


‘It is a historic day for feminist progress,’ Equality Minister Irene Montero tweeted ahead of votes on a number of feminist-inspired pieces of legislation.  


The law entitles workers experiencing period pain to as much time off as they need, with the state social security system – not employers – picking up the tab for the sick leave.


As with paid leave for other health reasons, a doctor must approve the temporary medical incapacity.


The length of sick leave that doctors will be able to grant to women suffering from painful periods has not been specified in the new law.



About a third of women who menstruate suffer from severe pain, according to the Spanish Gynaecology and Obstetrics Society.


The measure has created divisions among both politicians and unions, with the UGT, one of Spain’s largest trade unions, warning it could stigmatise women in the workplace and favour the recruitment of men.


The main opposition, conservative Popular Party (PP), also warned the law risks ‘stigmatising’ women and could have ‘negative consequences in the labour market’ for them.


‘Menstrual leave’ is one of the key measures in the broader legislation, which also provides for increased access to abortion in public hospitals.


Less than 15 per cent of abortions performed in the country take place in such institutions, mainly because of conscientious objections by doctors.


The new law also allows minors to have abortions without parental permission at 16 and 17 years of age, reversing a requirement introduced by a previous conservative government in 2015.


It was introduced on March 3, 2022, and former Minister for Equality �ngela Rodr�guez said it was past time for a discussion on reproductive health. 


‘The rights related to menstrual health have never been discussed and the data is chilling,’ Rodr�guez told El Periodico. 


?One in four women cannot choose the feminine hygiene products she wants to buy for financial reasons. That is why we propose that they can be dispensed free of charge in educational and social centres.?


Spain decriminalised abortion in 1985. But in 2010, it passed a law that allows women to opt freely for abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy in most cases.

Latest articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here