File photo: The town hall of the city of Saint-Ouen, near Paris. Photo courtesy of WIKIMEDIA
The municipality of Saint-Ouen, north of the capital, will allow women working for the local authorities to take up to two days off per month under the experimental scheme.
"Of the 2,000 people who work for the municipality, 60 percent are women. While talking with these employees I realised that half of them were suffering in silence. It was a subject put aside, if not taboo," said the Socialist Party mayor of Saint-Ouen Karim Bouamrane.
"Strong decisions had to be made to help them. I am proud that Saint-Ouen has blazed the trail nationally for concrete progress for women's rights," he said.
Staff will just need a medical certificate confirming their condition to take two days off.
Bouamrane has sent a letter to President Emmanuel Macron calling for the right to period leave to be enshrined in French law.
The move comes after Spanish lawmakers in February gave final approval to a law granting paid medical leave to women suffering severe period pain, becoming the first European country to advance such legislation.
Menstrual leave is currently offered only in a small number of countries across the globe, among them Japan, Indonesia and Zambia.