British company introduces ‘period policy’ for female employees

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BRISTOL, United Kingdom — A company in England is set to roll out a new policy that allows women to take time off during their period, every month, without using a sick day.

According to The Guardian, Bristol-based Coexist is making the move in hopes that it will make the workplace more efficient.

The Guardian reports that 24 of Coexist’s 31 staff members are women. Bex Baxter, the company’s director,  said that the policy aims to synchronize work “with the natural cycles of the body.”

Said Baxter, according to The Guardian,

“I have managed many female members of staff over the years and I have seen women at work who are bent over double because of the pain caused by their periods. Despite this, they feel they cannot go home because they do not class themselves as unwell. And this is unfair. At Coexist we are very understanding. If someone is in pain – no matter what kind – they are encouraged to go home. But, for us, we wanted a policy in place which recognizes and allows women to take time for their body’s natural cycle without putting this under the label of illness.”

Baxter called out what she called a “misconception” that taking time off reduces productivity, adding that the new policy is pragmatic and could lend to heightened creativity.

“It’s not just about taking time off if you feel unwell but about empowering people to be their optimum selves,” she said. “If you work with your natural rhythms, your creativity and intelligence is more fulfilled. And that’s got to be good for business.”

Baxter and her team will devise the new policy during a March 15 seminar called “Pioneering Period Policy: Valuing Natural Cycles in the Workplace.

Coexist is a community venue for artists, offices and event spaces, according to the Huffington Post.