Italy could soon become the first European country to offer paid menstrual leave to all female workers.
The Italian parliament is currently debating a new bill which, if implemented, would offer women who suffer from painful periods three day of paid leave every month.
Four female MPs drafted the proposed menstrual leave legislation which could come into effect in the next few months if approved.
Marie Claire has hailed the move as “a standard-bearer of progress and social sustainability”, but some critics of the bill have suggested that it may actually work against, rather than for women.
There are concerns that the move could mean employers will opt not to hire women when filling new positions.
Italy already has one of the lowest rates of female employment in the European Union (61 percent) and there are fears that this number would be even smaller should the new bill be passed.
Italy’s current maternity leave laws are part of the reason women struggle in the job market.
Italian mums-to-be are entitled to a compulsory period of five months paid maternity leave and are paid 80 percent of their normal salary during maternity leave by the National Institute of Social Security.
While this law aims to protect mums and expectant mums in the workplace, it is also believed to be partly responsible for the low rates of female employment in Italy.
Economist Daniela Piazzalunga told The Washington Post: "Women are already taking days off because of menstrual pain, but the new law would allow them to do so without using sick leave or other permits.
However, she warned there could be negative repercussions.
"The demand for female employees among companies might decrease, or women could be further penalised both in terms of salary and career advancement."
Parts of China, Japan and South Korea have already implemented similar laws and some private companies, such as Nike, have also offered menstrual leave to their female employees.
What do you think mums? Do you think paid menstrual leave is a good idea? We would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.