GoG Now Offers Menstrual Leave
GoG, the video game and film storefront formerly known as Good Old Games, has announced it will offer menstrual leave for employees affected by cycle-related complications.
In a LinkedIn post from earlier this month, GoG stated it would be “giving additional days off for those experiencing menstrual period pain” effective immediately. The company confirmed the time off would be paid in a comment on the post. There don’t appear to be any particular limits on how much menstrual leave an employee can use; in a statement to Axios, GoG explained it estimates employees will use approximately one day of menstrual leave per quarter, though employees are free to take time away “whenever period pains occur.” Partial days are also accepted under the new policy.
GoG culture and communication manager Gabriela Siemienkowicz spearheaded the effort to incorporate menstrual leave into the company’s time off policies, according to Axios and Siemienkowicz’s own comments on LinkedIn. Siemienkowicz mentioned this first iteration of the new policy is “experimental in a sense that we plan to evaluate in what way those additional days off impact the well-being of our menstruating employees at the end of 2022, and consider expanding the policy in the upcoming year.”
Siemienkowicz noted the topic of menstruation is still considered “taboo” for many, especially when the conversation is occurring in the context of work. While some may be comfortable talking about period pain and other complications, others still consider the topic uncomfortable, awkward, or even inappropriate, despite the fact that 1.8 billion people menstruate every month. Siemienkowicz said there’s “still much work to be done” in this regard, though most of the public response to GoG’s new leave policy has been positive.
Those with more of a negative sentiment say menstrual leave makes employees who need it appear less capable than those who don’t. But the same isn’t usually said for bereavement, which commonly affords employees paid time off to grieve the loss of a loved one, or even sick time, which has only been proven to be important over the last few years. (Emphasis on the “usually” because there are still incredibly toxic workplaces out there.) For employees who experience severe pain or discomfort associated with their period—especially those with endometriosis or PCOS—the implementation of menstrual leave can make a workplace feel safer while enabling that employee to do their best work.
GoG is one of the first in the industry to provide its employees paid menstrual leave. CD Projekt Red, GoG’s parent company and publisher of The Witcher, is reportedly looking into implementing a similar policy.
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