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Zomato chief executive Deepinder Goyal (Mint)
Zomato chief executive Deepinder Goyal (Mint)

Zomato introduces 'period leave' of up to 10 days per year for employees

'There shouldn’t be any shame or stigma attached to applying for a period leave. You should feel free to tell people on internal groups, or emails that you are on your period leave for the day,' says Zomato CEO in an email to his staff

New Delhi: Food delivery company Zomato said on Saturday it would give female employees, including transgender people, up to 10 days of "period leave" per year, as part of an effort to combat what it said was stigma around the issue. The company's CEO said the move is to "foster a culture of trust, truth and acceptance".

Zomato is the most high profile organisation to institute the policy in India.

"There shouldn't be any shame or stigma attached to applying for a period leave," Zomato chief executive Deepinder Goyal said in an email to staff on Saturday.

"You should feel free to tell people on internal groups, or emails that you are on your period leave for the day."

"A note for men – our female colleagues expressing that they are on their period leave shouldn’t be uncomfortable for us. This is a part of life, and while we don’t fully understand what women go through, we need to trust them when they say they need to rest this out. I know that menstrual cramps are very painful for a lot of women – and we have to support them through it if we want to build a truly collaborative culture at Zomato," said Goyal.

Founded in 2008, Gurugram-based Zomato is one of India's best-known companies, with more than 5,000 employees.

In 2018, Supreme Court overturned a decades-long ban on women of menstrual age entering the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, leading to a nationwide debate about women's rights.

Here's the full-text of Goyal's email:

Ladies,

How many times have you had to send a message to your team saying “unwell today – taking the day off" and having to answer concerned questions about your health with a feeble “stomach upset / weakness etc." when you really wanted to say “on my period, terrible cramps – need a heating pad, some chocolate and a lot of green tea (or something stronger) so I’m taking the day off"?

At Zomato, we want to foster a culture of trust, truth and acceptance. Starting today, all women (including transgender people) at Zomato can avail up to 10 days of period leaves in a year.

-Why 10? Most women have ~14 menstrual cycles in a year. Adjusting for the probability of you having your periods on a weekend, you can now rightfully avail 10 extra leaves compared to men

-You can only take one period leave for each menstrual cycle

-Zomato understands that men and women are born with different biological realities. It is our job to make sure that we make room for our biological needs, while not lowering the bar for the quality of our work and the impact that we create

-There shouldn’t be any shame or stigma attached to applying for a period leave. You should feel free to tell people on internal groups, or emails that you are on your period leave for the day

-In case you face any unnecessary harassment, or distasteful comments from men or women about the fact that you applied for a period leave, or that you are vocal about it, please report them to speakup@zomato.com – our prevention of sexual harassment (POSH) team will quickly spring into action

-While we are introducing this leave to build a more inclusive work culture, a word of necessary advice –

-These leaves should only be availed if you are really unable to attend to work

-If you do need to take the day off, please apply for the leave on the HR portal, communicate to your team that you will be unavailable, reschedule your meetings and proactively communicate if deadlines are getting impacted

-Do not abuse these leaves or use them as a crutch to take time out for other pending tasks

-Take care of yourself – regular focus on fitness and diet has a positive impact on every bit of your physical and mental health"

A note for men – our female colleagues expressing that they are on their period leave shouldn’t be uncomfortable for us. This is a part of life, and while we don’t fully understand what women go through, we need to trust them when they say they need to rest this out. I know that menstrual cramps are very painful for a lot of women – and we have to support them through it if we want to build a truly collaborative culture at Zomato.

Stay calm, and strong.

Deepinder

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