“Menstrual leave” proposal sent to the Mexican Congress

April 18th, 2023

This past February, the Congress of Mexico City approved two initiatives that seek to amend various federal labor laws in order to grant work permits (also known as “Menstrual Leave”) to menstruating persons who have disabling dysmenorrhea.

The approval of the initiatives seek to amend several articles of the Federal Labor Law, as well as of the Federal Law of Workers in the Service of the State, so that employers have the obligation to grant two days per month with pay to working women and menstruating people who are diagnosed by a doctor with disabling dysmenorrhea (also known as “menstrual cramps”).

This reform proposal will continue its legislative process through the Mexican Congress as it is an amendment to federal labor laws.


According to the approved initiatives, the menstrual leave must be requested before the Mexican Social Security Institute (hereinafter “IMSS” for its acronym in Spanish) or the Security and Social Services Institute for State Workers (hereinafter “ISSSTE” for its acronym in Spanish), where an authorized gynecologist can diagnose a woman or menstruating person with the condition of first- or second-degree dysmenorrhea and/or incapacitating pain.

Once the diagnosis proves the condition suffered by the menstruating woman or person, the ISSSTE or IMSS will issue an official medical certificate to third parties that will entitle women to request monthly leave from their employers, which must be granted with full pay and for a period of up to three days.

It is important to mention that the medical certificate will only be effective for one year after it is issued, so women and menstruating people must renew it every year.

For further context, from a medical point of view, first-degree dysmenorrhea refers to pain in menstruating people resulting from normal bleeding, without previous pelvic pathologies; second-degree dysmenorrhea refers to menstrual pain resulting from conditions such as ovarian cysts, endometriosis, among others.

The approval of these initiatives has the opportunity to strengthen the legal framework regarding gender perspective, since employers will not be able to justify the dismissal of their employees when the latter have been absent from the workplace due to suffering from these types of ailments.

In this sense, the approval of the initiatives would affect between 45-95% of women and menstruating people of reproductive age in the country, so this reform would seek to protect the labor and health rights of a large part of the Mexican population.

Another important point to highlight in the approved initiatives is that not only do they seek to protect the rights of women and menstruating people, but in addition to granting them a paid day off work so that they can undergo annual medical studies of mastography and Papanicolau, male workers will also be granted a half-day leave so that they can undergo an annual medical prostate examination.

The proposal to be sent to the Mexican Congress for its review, follows the international trend in labor matters, since European countries such as Spain have made several proposals to amend the regulatory body in labor matters and grant this type of “menstrual leave” to those menstruating people who suffer from dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) to an incapacitating degree.

In light of the above, in Bravo Abogados we would be happy to answer any question you may have regarding this legal alert.

Blvd. Antonio L. Rodríguez 3000, Colonia Santa María, 5to piso, Interior 501 Torre Albia, C.P. 64650 Mty, N.L., México T.

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