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Companies are starting to care about endometriosis

“Things are finally moving at the corporate level! says Yasmine Candau, president of EndoFrance, the national association for the fight against endometriosis. “We intervene more and more often at the request of human resources departments to raise awareness for managers, but also for all employees. We thus intervened at Promod, Valeo…”.

Long misunderstood, endometriosis affects one in ten women, it is linked to the proliferation of endometrial cells – the lining of the uterus – in other parts of the body. They can settle on the ovaries, but also the intestine, the bladder, even the lungs…

If its best-known symptom is the occurrence of very strong pain during menstruation, it cannot be reduced to that. Many women are confronted with almost daily pain, intense fatigue…

65% of the women surveyed recognize a negative impact of their disease on their professional life.

In November 2020, EndoFrance published a white paper “Endometriosis and employment” in partnership with the provident organization Kerialis. 65% of the women questioned recognize a negative impact of their disease on their professional life and more than a third consider that it could have consequences on their career.

The impact of endometriosis on the professional lives of women who suffer from it is finally beginning to come out of the blind spot. The national strategy for the fight against endometriosis, presented by the government in February 2022, provides in particular for better training of occupational physicians. “The occupational doctor is an ally, but too often the employees do not dare to go see him”, regrets Yasmine Candau. Informed of the difficulties encountered by women, he can nevertheless propose work arrangements (teleworking on certain days, reduction in standing, more suitable chair, etc.).

If endometriosis is not recognized as a long-term condition, its symptoms may give rise to an RQTH (recognition of the status of disabled worker), the employer is then required to make the necessary adjustments to the workstation.

Development of “menstrual leave”

At the beginning of 2021, the Scop la Collective is the first French company to have set up a “menstrual leave”, a paid day off that women can take without the need for a medical certificate. A quarter of the women who responded to Alice Romerio’s survey (1) had taken at least five days of RTT in the previous twelve months in anticipation of possible pain.

After having organized a series of remote sensitizations between volunteers from EndoFrance and employees from all of its stores, the cosmetics chain Kiko Milano is considering setting up authorized days of absence. “We are also looking into the organization of work and in particular the reception of products. Carrying heavy loads is particularly painful for women who suffer from endometriosis,” explains Benjamin Bagnis, disability referent at Kiko Milano France. An improvement that will benefit all employees.