CD Projekt Red, the studio behind Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher series, has announced it will now offer menstrual leave for employees experiencing menstrual-related pain. The company publicly announced the new policy on March 30 via Twitter, writing:
"We're proud to offer menstrual leave to employees! Team members can now focus on their comfort & health by taking time off when suffering from period pain. It’s all about inclusivity & fostering a supportive workplace."
The policy comes after CD Projekt Red's sister company, GOG, introduced the benefit last year. According to CD Projekt Red public relations representative Ola Sondej, the studio spent the last few months observing GOG's experience with the policy before ultimately deciding to follow its steps. Sondej said the team ultimately found the benefit boosts "an environment where menstruating team members can feel more comfortable and supported to achieve their individual potential." In addition, the benefit represents "another step in creating an inclusive work environment."
According to Sondej, the policy will be implemented on April 1 and permits employees to take as much time off as they need--whether that be a few hours or entire days. Additionally, menstrual leave will be fully paid, ensuring employees don't feel pressured to work through their period pain or are financially burdened by taking time off work. However, Sondej said the most positive impact of the benefit could very well be the boon to the development team's morale.
"I think the biggest impact does not stem from the fact that you can take a day off when you feel physically unwell--it stems from the fact that you work at a place that actually notices that this issue exists. It does make me feel more confident," Sondej said.
Sondej added that CD Projekt Red employees who do not menstruate have been just as enthusiastic about the policy, stating the response has been "positive," and she has felt "supported and cheered on" by her fellow team members.
The progressive policy has garnered a lot of support online as well, and represents a positive shift in CD Projekt Red's workplace culture. Back in 2020, the company came under fire after CD Projekt Red studio head Adam Badowski defended the studio entering a mandatory crunch period leading up to the release of Cyberpunk 2077. Since then, however, the company has made strides to be more employee-friendly, publicly promising The Witcher 4 will not utilize crunch practices during development and now implementing an inclusive policy in menstrual leave. According to Sondej, since starting at the studio late last year, she has felt "planned and catered for," as well as impressed by the studio's emphasis on diversity and providing employees with the right tools to report any misconduct.
"We [get] many cool perks: We can bring our dogs to the office, we often have upskilling workshops, [and] wellbeing seminars," Sondej said. "For those who need a helping hand, we also facilitate psychological help. I know it might sound cheesy, but--despite being new--I really feel at home. I also feel like I can speak up here, which is great."
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