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Providing paid menstrual leave to improve worker wellbeing: Future Super 

Read how Future Super is helping create a mentally healthy workplace through new initiatives like their menstrual leave policy.   


Women in the office
  • Despite high employee engagement levels overall, Future Super found employee engagement scores differed markedly between men and women.   
  • Working with the employee resource group, the organisation considered various options to better support women, including menstrual and menopausal leave.   
  • Instead of using sick and annual leave when menstrual symptoms prevented them from working, people who menstruate or are experiencing menopause now have access to 6 days of paid leave each year.   
  • After the initiative’s introduction, employee engagement scores for women and non-binary staff jumped increased in 2021.   

As an employer, Future Super strives to create a diverse and inclusive workplace that supports staff and their health and wellbeing. It was quick to respond to quarterly employee engagement scores (measured through the employer Net Promotor Score; eNPS; a higher score is desirable) that revealed significant differences between men (who scored 86 out of 100) and women (who scored 38 out of 100).    

Committed to developing an inclusive approach, Future Super worked with the employee resource group to consider options to better support women.   

“The way to create meaningful change is to engage with your workers and act on the findings by identifying what will be meaningful for them and putting that into action.” Leigh Dunlop, Chief People Officer  

One of the options raised was menstrual and menopausal leave, so Future Super sought expert advice from the Victorian Women’s Trust to develop a menstrual and menopausal leave policy. The new initiative offers all full-time workers who experience menstruation and menopause access to 6 paid days each year to manage their symptoms. In addition, Future Super’s existing mental health leave policy entitles full-time workers to 6 paid days each year to actively manage their mental health.   

Leigh Dunlop, Future Super's Chief People Officer, says the organisation's commitment to inclusivity and diversity means it enjoys high levels of disclosure and workers are comfortable being open about their mental health and wellbeing. Future Super actively works to remove stigmas around topics that people typically do not talk about with their employers. She emphasises starting from a place of trust. In this case, workers accessing menstrual leave do not need a medical certificate.   

The results of the new initiative were positive. Employee engagement scores for women and non-binary people jumped to 71 out of 100 after the initiative was introduced. And engagement continues to rise, with the rolling 12-month engagement now higher for women and non-binary workers than for men.   

Around 42% of eligible workers have accessed the menstrual leave; they did not exhaust their entitlements in the first 12 months, with many choosing to use a couple of hours at a time. Further, analysis shows the financial cost of the initiative is negligible, because people who take the leave would have unnecessarily dipped into their sick leave. The policy aims to create a more equitable workplace, so people do not use their sick leave to manage their menstruation.   

Future Super also encourages other businesses to explore initiatives such as menstrual and menopause leave, by making its people-focused policies open source.   

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

  • Financial and Insurance Services
  • All locations
  • Published 25 Jul 2023
  • Updated 25 Jul 2023