THE DELHI High Court on Monday asked authorities to treat as representation a PIL seeking direction to grant paid period leave to all women employees for four days each month and payment of overtime allowance in case the women opt to work during the menstruation period.
The division bench of Chief Justice D.N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan asked the authorities including the Centre and Delhi government to take a decision on the representation in accordance with the law and government policies. The court observed that the grievance may have some merit but the government needs to consider it first.
The PIL filed by Delhi Labour Union, a trade union, through advocate Rajiv Aggarwal also sought directions for giving 45 minutes of rest period twice a day to women employees for four days a month during the menstruation period. The PIL also sought a direction for separate and clean toilets for women employees and free sanitary napkins.
“There is a stark absence of official recognition for this actual, tangible physical condition that only the female employees have to undergo every month. There is simply no opportunity or agency for the female employees to frankly air their grievances and raises demands for menstrual benefits,” the plea said, adding the women employees form a significant part of the workforce in the offices and establishments of the governments but there is “very little consideration or even recognition for the emotional, physical, hormonal and physiological trauma that these employees undergo during their menstrual cycle”.
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