Sikkim High Court Grants ‘Menstrual Leave’ for Female Employees

The Sikkim High Court has introduced a menstrual leave policy for its women employees, becoming the first High Court to announce menstrual leave. A notification issued on May 27 by the Sikkim High Registry said women employees can get ‘2-3 days menstrual leave’ in a month.

But it said that these leaves can be availed only on the prior recommendation of the Medical Officer of the High Court. “This leave will not be counted towards the overall leave of the employee,” the notification said.

Sikkim High Court is the country’s smallest high court with three judges. According to the High Court website, there are only 9 officers in the registry, including one woman officer.

The Sikkim High Court has become the first High Court in the country to introduce a menstrual leave policy. Currently, there is no national policy or law on menstrual leave.

In February 2023, the Supreme Court rejected a petition to declare menstrual leave for students and working women in the country. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud recommended that the petitioner file this petition with the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Smriti Irani was against menstrual leave

Also in December 2023, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani opposed this menstrual leave policy. “I believe that menstruation is not a disability,” Irani said. By this, he was the target of women’s red eyes.

The same month, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare formulated a draft policy on menstrual hygiene. The policy states that work-from-home or support leave should be available to women without discrimination.


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