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Australian women's attitudes to menstrual and menopause leave

This report is one of a series from the 2023 National Women’s Health Survey, a representative survey of Australian women aged 18 and over. The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care has funded Jean Hailes for Women’s Health to conduct the annual National Women’s Health Survey since 2017.

Download full report [PDF 625KB]

Download Technical Report [PDF 863KB]

The report, from the 2023 National Women's Health Survey, provides a compelling case for fostering flexible work environments where women feel supported to discuss and manage their health needs without fear of discrimination.

The nationally representative findings from more than 3,200 women show that:

  • 67% of Australian women support additional paid sick or personal leave for all people
  • 63% of Australian women are in favour of additional paid leave for menstrual issues
  • 62% of Australian women expressed similar support for menopause leave.

However, the findings also show that:

  • more than four in five women believe that employers or workmates may not be understanding if they were to request leave for such health concerns
  • more than three-quarters of women believe employers will use menstrual and menopause leave as a reason to discriminate against women.

Dr. Sarah White, the CEO of Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, said it is vital for workplaces to be flexible to support women in the workforce.

"Workplaces need to be proactive in their support for women's health. This involves creating supportive working environments to discuss health needs, embracing flexibility and offering tailored support for women navigating various health challenges."