What does the socialist bill examined in the Senate contain?

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This Thursday, February 15, the Senate is examining the establishment of menstrual leave for women suffering from painful periods. This bill, tabled in April 2023 by the Socialists, could allow them to obtain a work stoppage of two days per month at most, without a waiting day.

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Will France follow Spain’s example? This Thursday, senators are considering a bill to “ improve and ensure the health and well-being of women at work “. Tabled in April 2023 by socialist senator Hélène Conway-Mouret, the text provides for the establishment of menstrual leave for women suffering from painful periods – estimated at 7 million in France.

While more and more companies and local authorities in France, such as that of Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine, are choosing to grant time off to employees who need it, this text aims to “ provide a legal solution that meets a strong expectation expressed for a long time by a majority of women “. In Ifop study published in October 2022two thirds of the women interviewed said they were in favor.

One to two days of sick leave per month

The text provides for the establishment of specific sick leave for women suffering from menstrual pain, also called dysmenorrhea, whether or not linked to a pathology such as endometriosis. This stop, fully covered by health insurance, could vary from one to two days per month, “ based on a medical certificate “. A doctor or midwife would then be authorized to prescribe it.

If the law is passed as such, people arrested because of their painful periods will be compensated. without waiting day » and « 100% of the basic daily salary “. The certificate would be “ valid for one year and renewable at each expiry date », specifies article 1.

Read alsoHow to break the taboo of periods?

Use of teleworking

The bill also leaves the possibility for companies to provide better support. Socialist senators suggest “ give women suffering from dysmenorrhea the opportunity to telework from home ”, without this replacing the right to menstrual leave. “ A woman can perfectly well find herself bothered by menstrual pain preventing her from going to her workplace, without being so handicapped that she cannot work. “, we read in the text.

The way of thinking about this leave is flexible “, explained toRFI Senator Hélène Conway-Mouret. “ There is no obligation, it is not prescriptive, but it would become a possibility engraved in the Labor Code. Because as long as it is not in the law, large companies will not necessarily take this action for women. Once registered, they can request it via their unions or their hierarchical representation. »

A text that struggles to achieve consensus

Unlike the environmentalist deputies who had also tabled a bill in favor of menstrual leave, the socialist senators do not mention the promotion of menstrual and gynecological health at work, nor protection against discrimination. The latter is particularly requested by several feminist associations, who fear that menstrual leave will become a barrier to hiring.

In Parliament, the text of the socialist senators is struggling to come together, as evidenced by its rejection in the Social Affairs Committee on February 7. In June 2023, a report had already positioned itself against the introduction of such sick leave, even if its conclusions did not achieve consensus among the rapporteurs. Laurence Cohen (PCF), Annick Jacquemet (UDI) and Marie-Pierre Richer (LR) considered in fact “ that the establishment of a broad system for “painful periods” is not justified if a disabling pathology is not associated with it “.

Read alsoPainful periods: menstrual leave at Saint-Ouen town hall