Federally regulated workplaces will soon provide menstrual products free of charge

May 10 2023, 2:00 pm

Federally regulated workplaces will soon be required to provide their employees with access to menstrual products free of charge while they are in the workplace.

The federal announcement dropped Wednesday morning and will mark a significant change to the Canada Labour Code.

“Menstrual products like pads and tampons are as necessary as toilet paper and soap, but they are not treated that way in most workplaces,” reads a release from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

According to Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan Jr., this mandatory change will kick in on December 15, 2023. This means “putting pads and tampons in washrooms (or another space controlled by the employer) so that any worker who needs them while on the job has access.”

Tampons and pads are basic necessities. So we’re making sure they’re provided to workers at no cost because it’ll make for healthier and safer workplaces,” O’Regan Jr. added.

ESDC says this initiative includes all menstruating workers — cisgender women, transgender men, and non-binary and intersex Canadians.

“These workers would no longer have to turn to unsuitable solutions, such as extending the use of menstrual products beyond the recommended time frame or avoiding work altogether,” the federal department added.

The move also aims to improve workplace equity and reduce stigma around menstruation.

The government is consulting with employers and will provide guidance material before December 15.

Jenna Sudds, parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, also weighed in on the legislation, saying, “Adding menstrual products to the list of other basic sanitary items at no cost just makes sense. Our government is leading by example to address menstrual equity and encourages other businesses to  consider how they can advance gender equality in all workplaces.”

Should a rule like this also apply to private employers? Let us know your thoughts.

National Trending StaffNational Trending Staff

+ News
+ Health & Fitness
+ Canada