Ministry of Labor says no menstrual leave for transgender women

Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor said that transgender women are not entitled to menstrual leave, because transgender women don’t have a uterus, and therefore do not menstruate.

Under Taiwan’s Gender Equality in Employment law, women are entitled to take one day off per month, with a maximum three per year not counting towards days off for sick leave. The employee is not required to provide supporting documents, and the employer cannot refuse or allow the absence to affect such aspects as attendance bonus, or performance appraisals.

According to reports, a transgender female employee recently requested her employer grant her menstrual leave. The company was not sure whether the request complied with regulations on physiological leave, and inquired of the local government labor bureau. The labor bureau asked the Ministry of Labor to make a determination.

The Ministry of Labor consulted with the Ministry of Health and Welfare, who in turn requested advice from the Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The TAOG advised the Ministry of Health and Welfare that men who underwent surgery and completed gender reassignment to become women do not have a uterus, and therefore do not menstruate.

On the basis of this information, the Ministry of Labor determined that trans women are not entitled to menstrual leave as transgender women do not have the physiological hardships associated with menstruation.

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