The Department of Employment and Social Development is considering amending the labour code to provide menstruation products in federal workplaces. This would benefit about 480,000 public service workers.
Currently, under Part II of the Canadian Labour Code an employer is required to provide supplies including toilet paper, soap, warm water and a means to dry hands. This proposed change would add pads and tampons to this list.
Menstruation products are a basic necessity and essential to the health of women and people that menstruate. We responded to the federal government’s notice of intent and made clear that we support having a variety of menstrual products available in federally regulated and federal government workplaces.
We agree that menstrual products such as pads and tampons are essential to the health of Canadians, allowing them to participate fully in the workforce and society. Including menstrual products in workplaces is a concrete action that the federal government can take to move toward gender equity. Providing these supplies will decrease the menstruation stigma that is pervasive in our society and support better health outcomes.
It will take 18 to 24 months to complete the regulatory process of changing the Canada Labour Code, well beyond the federal election expected this October. This decision will be made by the next parliament.