Canada Labour Code to Ensure Access to Menstrual Products at work Starting December 15, 2023

The Federal Government of Canada announced that as of December 15, 2023, all federally regulated workplaces are to begin offering menstrual products available to workers at no cost, for employees in the workplace.

The Minister of Labor, Seamus O’Regan, announced that the initiative is intended to 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. These changes are intended to address the number of systemic inequities, reduce stigma, and create healthier, more inclusive workplaces.

Section 9.17 of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, will require federally regulated employers to provide menstrual products, including clean and hygienic tampons and menstrual pads, in each toilet room.

The regulations emphasize the importance of privacy of employees.  Should it not be feasible to provide menstrual products in a toilet room, employers will be required to provide them in another location in the same workplace that offers a reasonable amount of privacy.

In addition to the products, employers are required to provide a covered container for the disposal of menstrual products in any toilet room that has only one toilet; and in each toilet compartment of any toilet room that has more than one toilet.

The Labour Program intends to provide guidance material to help employers comply with the Regulations and ensure clear interpretation prior to December 15, 2023.