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International Business School is announcing that menstrual cramps and any associated disorders will from now on be treated as mitigating circumstances warranting excused absences over and above the permitted absence quota. No medical evidence will be required, and such requests will no longer be dismissed as “minor illnesses”.

There is a long history of policy-making in the world to ensure equity, i.e. to go beyond the idea of equal opportunity by proactively compensating for differences between different groups of people wherever possible. Several countries, starting with the Soviet Union in the early-20th century, followed by various Asian countries to most recently Zambia and Spain, have introduced laws that enshrine the possibility of taking some time off work due to period pain.

Examples from the business world: From Polish gaming company GOG.com to one of India’s biggest food delivery companies, Zomato, among various others to UK charitable organisation Coexist, many companies have recognised that such policies can increase both the quantity and quality of work done by menstruating employees. Beyond issues of mere productivity, such policies have been shown to decrease stigmatisation and embed respect for well-being and health issues into organisational culture.

At International Business School, the idea of menstrual leave for students was first raised by the Student Union, and we are thankful to them for bringing this important issue to our attention. To our knowledge, by this move IBS will be one of the first among higher education institutions in the world to accommodate menstruation as a self-declared mitigating circumstance. We hope it will provide relief to those affected, and also would like to encourage them to visit this site for more information on female health.

If you are a student and you wish to make a request related to this, please email request@ibs-b.hu as usual.

If you are a journalist and would like to make an interview on this topic, contact our Chief Communications Officer Andrea Joós at ajoos@ibs-b.hu. Also, take a look at our previous news about the 50% gender ratio in the management.