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Article | Global News Briefs

Spain: Legislation introduces paid menstrual leave

By Pilar Garcia-Aguilera | February 27, 2023

Spain passes Europe’s first law requiring employers to give female employees leave to recover from severe menstrual pain.
Health and Benefits|Benessere integrato|Ukupne nagrade

Employer Action Code: Act

As part of a new abortion law (the Organic Law on Sexual and Reproductive Health), Spain’s parliament has approved legislation granting female employees government-paid leave to recover from severe menstrual pain. The new provision will take effect three months after its publication in the Official State Gazette.

Key details

  • Employers will be required to grant female employees unpaid leave to recover from severe menstrual pain as prescribed by a physician (the law does not specify the maximum duration of the leave). Leave can be prescribed annually for individuals with a medical history of recurring menstrual pain.  
  • Pay replacement benefits will be provided by social security at 75% of covered earnings from the first day of leave. Maximum covered earnings are 4,495.50 euros per month for all employees regardless of profession.

Employer implications

Menstrual leave is offered only in a small number of countries around the world, including Japan (unpaid for the leave required), South Korea (one day unpaid per month), Taiwan (three days per year, payable at 50% of salary) and Zambia (one day paid per month). According to Spain’s Gynecology and Obstetrics Society, around a third of Spanish women who menstruate suffer from severe pain. Employers should review their family leave policies and practices in order to ensure compliance.


Pilar Garcia-Aguilera

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