Dubai firm announces extra paid leave for women employees; gets over 1,000 CVs in 24 hours

Change in company policy offering female staff time off for fertility-based treatments, menopause, and menstrual has been termed as 'need of the hour'


Nasreen Abdulla

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Photo: TishTash
Photo: TishTash

Published: Thu 2 Mar 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Mar 2023, 7:46 PM

A Dubai-based company that recently announced a policy change offering its all-female team paid leave for fertility-based treatments, menopause, and menstrual-related time off, has received more than 1200 job applications within 24 hours after Khaleej Times reported the news.

"I can't reply fast enough," said Natasha Hatherall, Founder and CEO of TishTash Communications. The team has also received over 100 phone calls at the reception asking if the company was hiring.

It was on Tuesday that communications agency TishTash came up with this first-of-it-kind policy. According to it, staff members can avail of up to six days of menopause (and menstrual) leave per year, which is not part of the employees' personal or sick leave. Those undergoing fertility treatment, including those wishing to freeze their eggs, will be given flexible and unrestricted paid leave to allow them to attend medical appointments.

“I really wish I had some job openings,” she said. “Some of the messages that have come are uplifting and positive while some are quite sad.”

Natasha Hatherall and Polly Williams
Natasha Hatherall and Polly Williams

Personal messages

One of the messages received by the company read - “I write to you looking for a potential opportunity as I cling my abdomen with cramps while I work in a place where if I ask for even remote working during such days, it’ll be laughed at.”

Another request came in from a high school student. “When I graduate in June of 2024, I plan on studying Marketing/Communications/Digital Media. I am currently looking for a company that would give me the opportunity to job shadow/intern with time once a week. I think your company is amazing, and really love how it supports the female workforce. I do not have experience as I’m only a High School student, but I really hope that you’d give me a chance to see what my dream job looks like IRL.”

Natasha said she did not expect this outpouring of love. “Honestly, we are shocked,” she said. “But I feel it clearly must have resonated. There must be a need for policies in this area. I feel most people want to work in a supportive, people-first organisation, rather than just make the most of extra days off.”

She has also been receiving several notes praising the move on Linkedin. One of her messages read, “I recently saw the news about TishTash's leave policy for women, and what caught my eye is the part about menstrual leaves. As someone who has been struggling with acute dysmenorrhea, I know the struggles of showing up to work forcefully, even though I'm in no state to work. I would like to sincerely thank you for bringing about this much-needed change, and I am sure it will serve as great inspiration for HR professionals who need to think along similar lines.”


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