Yesterday I discovered something that when I heard it, the only response I could think of was “Oh. My. Gosh.” (repeat many times).
Don’t ask me how the subject came up but over lunch yesterday someone mentioned that in many companies in China, women get a day off each time they have their period. Oh. My. Gosh. Exactly.
There are just so many things wrong with this, in my opinion anyway, I don’t even know where to start!! The only reason I can think of that this could be seen as a good thing in China is that with the child-bearing restrictions that are forced upon the Chinese, maybe when a woman gets her period, this is seen as a celebration that she’s therefore not pregnant and is granted a day off as a reward.
Or is it a kind sympathetic day off to allow a woman just to have a duvet & chocolate day at home on the one day a month when she feels a bit crap? Wouldn’t this be a bit unfair to the men? If only the women did see it as a duvet & chocolate day! Apparently many women are overheard on the phone at work happily planning their ‘day off’ with their friends and arranging to go shopping! And they’re getting paid for this?!
So that’s 12 extra days off a year for most women. What about those women who don’t have a typical 28 day cycle? It’s a bit unfair if their cycle is twice or even three times as long as that of their peers. And do they get the first day of their period off? The heaviest day? Do the employers want proof?? What kind of proof??!! And what if they have a shorter cycle, do they get more days off than 12 a year?? And what about menopausal women or other women who don’t have periods at all??!! Is that just tough luck, no extra days off for them?
And if you are trying to get pregnant – can you exchange your ‘period day’ for an ‘ovulation day’?! And better give the husband the day off too to make the most of it!
And if you are pregnant – no extra days off if you’re pregnant and working I guess, as periods stop in most cases!
Maybe that’s why so many Chinese men smoke – they probably feel they have to accumulate similar time off in fag breaks each month to keep things fair! (Don’t get me started on fag breaks – I could argue for days that those who don’t smoke should get extra holiday or those who do should forfeit holiday, but I won’t digress!)
I’m sorry but in my humble opinion if you’re going to use this day to go shopping, get your nails done, do lunch, or whatever, then book a holiday day! And if you’re going to have a duvet & chocolate day because you actually do feel rubbish, take a sick day! That’s just my opinion.
Boy I’d love to see exactly how this is worded in contracts and handled in practice. I’m even tempted to get a job just to find out!! Well, maybe not.