Italy set to offer menstrual leave for female workers suffering from painful periods

Italian women may soon become the first in Europe to be offered three days of ‘menstrual leave’ if they are suffering painful periods.

The lower house of Italy’s Parliament has been debating a law which, if approved, would entitle all women to three extra days leave a month.

The Italian edition of women’s magazine Marie Claire welcomed it as ‘a standard-bearer of progress and social sustainability.’

Italy has one of the lowest rates of female participation in the workforce in Europe and some fear the new legislation will make employers even less keen to hire women

But Italy has one of the lowest rates of female workers in Europe – only 61 percent, well below the European average of 72 percent – and some women’s rights campaigners fear the law could backfire, by discouraging bosses from hiring women.