In a huge step for equality in the workplace (both within the games industry and beyond), GOG recently announced that it's started offering menstrual leave to its employees. This means that “whenever period pains occur,” affected employees can take as much time as needed off work to recover.
The menstrual leave days will be fully paid, with GOG estimating that it will result in affected employees taking an additional day off per quarter.
GOG is a subsidiary of Polish game developer and publisher CD Projekt, of The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077 fame/infamy. Following GOG's announcement, I reached out to CD Projekt PR Director Radek Grabowski to ask whether the menstrual leave initiative might also extend to the parent company, which totals around 1124 employees. He replied, “GOG is spearheading this initiative, and we're looking into it further for the whole CD Projekt.”
So all going well, we could see the progressive policy become standardised in one of the most famous games companies in the world, leading by example for others to do the same. As things stand, menstrual leave is almost unheard of in both videogame and other companies, and the only countries that currently have any form of national menstrual leave are Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Zambia.
The initiative to get menstrual leave implemented was spearheaded by GOG culture and communication manager Gabriela Siemienkowicz, who told Axios that the new policy “fosters inclusiveness by accepting that there are biological differences in the workplace… by giving such additional days off, we acknowledge these symptoms are real.”
Siemienkowicz added: “I can only hope that this policy will serve as a sign that GOG is an inclusive company that respects individual needs of its employees and that everyone can feel both safe and appreciated here.”