Eight female employees of the Girona City Council have taken advantage of the menstrual permit, which gives them a total of eight hours per month, in order to combine the right to health and well-being with the right to work. The measure, groundbreaking in the state, came into effect at the beginning of the year after the Girona city council approved it on June 14 last year with votes in favor of the government team (JxCat and Esquerra), Guanyem, PSC and a member of Ciudadanos and the abstention of another member of the same party . The first months of action coincided with remote work, and only when they returned to face-to-face work was it put into practice.
Girona is not the only municipality where you can get a permit for ailments due to your menstrual cycle. Municipal employees of Castellón can also work eight hours a month. This was approved in September last year.
The Girona City Council employs 1,050 people, about half of whom are women and nearly 30% of whom are of childbearing age. The purpose of this measure is to ensure that those who suffer during this period can combine the right to health and their well-being with work. For this they have eight hours a month, or a proportional part corresponding to the shortened working day. These available watches can be used for a minimum of one hour and must be renewed within a maximum of three months. Of the eight women who asked for it, one asked for a whole day, another 3 hours, and a minimum of two hours. In order to obtain permission, they must first inform the person in charge of their service and may only be refused for duly justified reasons.
Maria Angels Planas, second deputy mayor of the treasury and internal regime area, believes that administrations should be “a benchmark and a pioneer” in measures of this kind. “It helps eliminate the taboo surrounding menstruation and the pain that some women experience – we suffer – is a malaise, not a disease. It should be good for female discomfort,” he says. Clear: “Administrations must lead and pioneer measures that represent fair improvements that other administrations, as well as private companies, will later follow.”
The unions present at the Consistory opted for “paid leave with many hours and no compensation”, but after negotiations, a current agreement was reached. “It’s not what we wanted, but it’s a step forward, the situation has become visible,” says Karina Maimi from Intersindical-CSC, assuring that “what cannot be is that everything remains as it was, you cannot work with discomfort and pain, in many cases objectified, that interfere with effective and efficient work. In June, they will evaluate the first six months of the active measure to see if there have been any cases that they don’t know yet.
From CC OO they claim that there may be more than eight women who suffer from menstrual cramps and pass for several hours, but they may have done it in a way that could have been done before this permit was put in place. The Consistory also offers other options, “whichever is more profitable”, such as three non-refundable days for illness (two of them do not need to be justified) and “hourly balance”, which allows you to take a few hours to return, but within one year .
All conditions for a menstrual permit have been included in Section 11, which governs the temporal flexibility of the Working Conditions Agreement/Agreement for civil servants and City Council employees. The plenary meeting in June 2021 gave the go-ahead to change this article after it was unanimously approved at the general negotiating table on 30 April 2021 at the suggestion of the Intersindical-CSC trade union section.
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