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Federally regulated employers required to provide free menstrual products to workers starting in December

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May 10, 2023
By Talent Canada

A closeup of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Photo: Sharkshock/Adobe Stock

All federally regulated employers will be required to provide menstrual products at no cost to workers as of Dec. 15, 2023.

Menstrual products like pads and tampons are as necessary as toilet paper and soap, but they are not treated that way in most workplaces, the federal government said. It will require employers to put 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,” said Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan Jr.

“This initiative is inclusive of all workers who menstruate, and it 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,” Ottawa said in a press release. “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 final Regulations, which are now available in Part II of the Canada Gazette, were developed following extensive consultations with stakeholders, experts and Canadians. Because they apply to a wide variety of federally regulated private and public sector workplaces, the Regulations provide employers with flexibility in how they implement these changes in their workplace, it said.

Treating pads and tampons as basic needs will help improve equity, reduce stigma, and create healthier, more inclusive workplaces. It also aligns with other efforts by the Government to break down barriers to equality, such as the Menstrual Equity Fund, through which women’s shelters, not-for-profits, charities, community-based organizations and youth-led organizations would make menstrual products available to Canadians in need. Women and Gender Equality Canada will launch this national pilot project in the coming months.

Guidance material will be developed in consultation with employers and made available online prior to the coming into force date. In the meantime, federally regulated employers can contact the Labour Program at edsc.lab.sst.politiques-lab.ohs.policy.esdc@labour-travail.gc.ca if they need help understanding these

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