An update to the Canada Labour Code is ensuring access to free menstrual products at work.
Announced Wednesday (May 10), Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan Jr. said that as of Dec. 15, federally regulated employers will be required to make menstrual products, like pads or tampons, available to workers at no cost while they are in the workplace.
“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 the release. Treating pads and tampons as basic needs will help improve equity, reduce stigma, and create healthier, more inclusive workplaces.
The government says the initiative is inclusive of all workers who menstruate, and will “improve the well-being of nearly half a million workers who may require menstrual products during their workdays, including cisgender women, non-binary individuals, transgender men, and intersex individuals.”
Work on the labour code changes began in 2021, when the federal government began “extensive consultation” with stakeholders, experts and Canadians.