New regulation on menstrual product provision in Canada

To support the health outcomes and workplace productivity of employees, and to reduce menstrual stigmas, starting from December 15, 2023, all federally regulated workplaces in Canada must provide free menstrual products to their employees. Such products must be provide in each toilet regardless of gender, so that the need of each of every employee could be ensured. A covered container must also be provided in each toilet stall for disposal. If it is not possible to set up a container for dispensing in toilets, employers should choose an alternate location to ensure employee’s easy assessment to such products. Employers are also suggested to take the initiative to understand the needs of employees for offering reasonable and suitable choices, and to deliver menstrual health and product information to employees. For employees working remotely, employer are suggested to prepare portable menstrual product kits for them to ensure they need not to be anxious and to spend time seeking menstrual products when needed.

Canada has defined menstrual products as necessary goods and has waived the value-added tax on such products in January 2015. Several provinces have also been providing menstrual products to students since 2019. The new regulation not only extends the scope of support further to all government units and parts of private companies, needs of individuals like cisgender women, non-binary individuals, transgender men and intersex people are also being legally mentioned and covered for the first time.