India’s Large Food Delivery Business Now Grants Women Staff ‘Period Leave’

India’s large food delivery service company, Zomato, is now allowing its female staff of ten days of period leave in one year. On Saturday, founder and chief exec of the company, Deepinder Goyal, announced that this move would affect all women and transgender persons.

Removing stigma

The decision is a major change for India as it remains to be a country where many still consider women’s menstrual cycle as a taboo subject. Zomato’s staff can file of one-day leave for every menstrual cycle. This is the company’s effort of removing the stigma related to women’s periods.

According to an e-mail sent by Goyal addressed to their female employees: “At Zomato, we want to foster a culture of trust, truth, and acceptance. 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 e-mails, that you are on your period leave for the day.”

Goyal also encouraged those who were discriminated for having period leave to report the incident. Meanwhile, he advised male staff not to be uneasy about the issue, saying menstrual cycles are normal. “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,” Zomato’s chief exec wrote.

‘Why ten’ for Zomato

He also explained the reason for limiting the period leaves to ten days. Writing on the e-mail, “Most women have ~14 menstrual cycles in a year. Adjusting for the probability of you having your periods on a weekend, you can now rightfully avail 10 extra leaves compared to men.” Goyal further noted not to abuse such policy to avoid other work.

More businesses

Per local news outlets, there have been several businesses previously who have also opted to provide period leaves for employees. CNN notes that Zomato, a company that had acquired Uber’s food delivery unit in the country, is the most high-profile firm in India to push such directive.

The company was co-founded by Goyal in 2008. It is among the country’s most popular brands, employing over 5,000 people.

Laura Kent

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