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Federally regulated employers now required to provide free menstrual products to staff

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December 18, 2023
By Talent Canada

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Employers that are federally regulated are now required to provide menstrual products at no cost to their employees.

This new requirement applies to both private and public sector workplaces and is expected to benefit approximately 500,000 employees across the country, according to the federal government. Federally regulated workplaces include sectors like transportation, banking, Crown corporations, the federal public services, and radio and television.

“We don’t expect you to bring your own toilet paper to work, so why should we expect you to bring pads and tampons?” said Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Labour and Seniors. “We’re providing menstrual products to employees in federally regulated workplaces because periods are a fact of life and there should be no stigma.”

Employers are required to provide these products at no cost to employees in an accessible and private workplace location, such as a washroom or office supply cabinet, Ottawa said in a press release.


Treating pads and tampons as the basic necessities that they are in federally regulated private and public sector workplaces will create healthier and more inclusive workplaces, improve gender equity, and reduce stigma around periods, it said.

“At a time when Canadians are struggling to make ends meet, buying pads, tampons and other menstrual products shouldn’t be an additional source of financial strain,” said Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth. “By making these products free and accessible in federally regulated workspaces, we are taking another step forward to end period poverty and advance menstrual equity. This is about putting money back in the pockets of people in need and building a more equitable country.”

Federally regulated employers are encouraged to consult guidance material from Employment and Social Development Canada or contact the Labour Program at 1-800-641-4049 for more information on these changes.

The Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Canada Labour Code (Menstrual Products) were developed and finalized following extensive consultations with stakeholders, experts and Canadians.

The federal government is also currently working on amending the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations to update the sanitation provisions and recognize all-gender toilets, and expects to pre-publish the draft regulations in 2024.

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