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Canada requires workplaces provide free menstrual products in male and female employee restrooms

Mandating free menstrual products delivers on a 2021 platform promise made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Labor Party.

Published: December 27, 2023 11:17am

All federally regulated workplaces in Canada are required to provide free menstrual products in all employee restrooms, regardless of whether the bathrooms are designated for men or women.

Canada announced in May that it would change the labor code "to ensure access to menstrual products," and the update went into effect this month at federally regulated workplaces, including banks, airports and public service agencies. 

Mandating free menstrual products delivers on a 2021 platform promise made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Labor Party.

"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," the Canadian government said at the time the code update was announced. 

In addition to providing free tampons and menstrual pads, employers must provide covered disposal containers in each toilet stall.  

"Unrestricted access to menstrual products better protects menstruating employees and makes sure that they feel safe to use the toilet room that best reflects their gender," the government said in its new guidance

Former Conservative Canadian Sen. Linda Frum posted a photo on X, formerly Twitter, earlier this month of pads and tampons in what she said was a men's bathroom on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

"Back in the day, when only women menstruated we had to pay for our own products. But now that men menstruate too, these products, as of this week, are mandated to be free in all Men’s washrooms in all federal workplaces including Parliament Hill —where this photo was taken today," she wrote

An anonymous House of Commons staffer wrote on X that the Parliament is planning to build menstrual product dispensers "which won't be used since 1) men don't menstruate & 2) they are just going to bring them home to their wives for free."

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

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