The Delhi High Court Monday asked the Centre and the AAP government to treat as a representation a PIL seeking grant of paid leave to women employees during menstruation. A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan asked the central and Delhi governments to take a decision on the representation in accordance with the law, rules, regulations and policy applicable to such matters as soon as possible and practicable.
The bench disposed of the Delhi Labour Union plea that women be provided special casual or paid leave as menstruation is intrinsically related to human dignity and by not providing separate toilet facilities or breaks to maintain hygiene, the authorities are depriving the employees of their human dignity.
The plea had sought a grant of paid leaves for four days a month to all classes of women employees, including daily wage, contractual and outsourced workers and to pay overtime allowance to menstruating women employees if they opt to work during that period.
Besides paid leaves, it also sought facilities for periodic rests, separate and clean toilets and provision of sanitary napkins to women employees during their menstruation period.
The petitioner, a registered trade union, had said the plea is concerned with the right to life and dignity of the women workers and it is for their benefit as also the general public as menstrual health and hygiene is of great public importance but is considered as a taboo subject.
About the daily wage, muster roll, contractual and outsourced workers, the plea had said they also face severe difficulties during menstruation as their work places lack adequate sanitation and clean toilets and they are not given the facility of earned or sick leave by their employers.