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May 30, 2024

Daily Legal Current Affairs for PCS (J) Judiciary 30 May 24 : Menstrual leave policy : Sikkim High Court

Why in News The Sikkim High Court registry has introduced a menstrual leave policy for female employees.

The notification specifies that women staff members can avail “2-3 days of menstrual leave” each month.

Key points of the notification:

  • Obtaining a recommendation from the High Court medical officer is required to avail of menstrual leave.
  • Women employees in the High Court Registry may henceforth avail menstrual leave of 2-3 days in a month, provided they approach the Medical Officer attached to the High Court first and obtain the latter’s recommendation for such leave.
  • The leave account of women employees shall not be debited on availing menstrual leave.
  • This leave will not be counted against the employee’s overall leave account.

A first in India:

  • The Sikkim HC is the first high court in India to introduce a menstrual leave policy.
  • Smallest high court in India, the Sikkim HC comprises three judges and a registry staff of nine officers, including one woman officer.



SC declines to hear plea on menstrual leave:

  • In February 2023, the Supreme Court rejected a plea requesting menstrual leave for female students and employees in India, asserting that such matters fell within the domain of policy rather than judicial authority.
  • The Supreme Court Bench, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, advised the petitioner to submit a formal request to the Ministry of Women & Child Development.

The Views against to it:

  • Menstruation is a natural part of life and should not be treated as a handicap requiring special leave provisions.
  • As a menstruating woman, menstruation and the menstruation cycle is not a handicap, it’s a natural part of women’s life journey.
  • Such a policy could lead to discrimination against women in the workforce.
  • We should not propose issues where women are denied equal opportunities just because somebody who does not menstruate has a particular viewpoint towards menstruation.
  • However, acknowledging the importance of menstrual hygiene, The Ministry of Women and Child Development  announced the formulation of a draft national policy by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This policy, developed in collaboration with stakeholders, aims to improve awareness and access to proper menstrual hygiene management practices across the country.

Menstrual leave policy around the world:


  • In Indonesia, as per the provisions of Labour Act No. 13 of 2003, women are granted the right to take two days of menstrual leave each month, although these are not considered as additional leave days.
  • In South Korea, female employees are granted menstrual leave under Article 71 of the Labour Standards Law, with the assurance of receiving additional compensation if they opt not to use this entitlement.
  • In Taiwan, the Act of Gender Equality in Employment allocates three days of “menstrual leave” annually for women.


  • As of 2023, only one European country, Spain, had implemented a national menstrual leave policy. Since February 2023, Spain has been granting three to five days of paid menstrual leave per month.

Africa  :

  • In Zambia, women have a legal entitlement to take a day off each month under the menstrual leave policy, referred to as “Mother’s Day”








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