Original language of petition: English
The Labour Program recognizes menstrual products are essential to the health of 40% of the federal workforce and yet they are not treated as a basic need. Providing workers with access to menstrual products is expected to support better health outcomes and workplace productivity while helping to reduce the stigma and shame often associated with menstruation. This challenge continues to persist despite the progress that has been made towards gender equity and advancing gender equality.
The Labour Program seeks to promote and sustain stable industrial relations and safe, fair, healthy, equitable and productive workplaces within the federal jurisdiction. This mandate is partially achieved through the development and implementation of Occupational Health and Safety Regulations made under the Part II of the Canada Labour Code (the Code) to reduce work-related accidents and illnesses in federal jurisdiction workplaces. The federal jurisdiction is defined in the Code and comprises approximately 8% of the Canadian workforce, including: banking; telecommunication broadcasting air interprovincial rail and road transportation; shipping and related services; grain elevators feed and seed mills; uranium mining; Crown corporations; and the federal public administration.
In May 2019, the Labour Program published a Notice of Intent (NOI) outlining a consideration to amend regulations to require employers to provide menstrual products in the workplace for use by their respective employees. The Notice of Intent provided stakeholders and members of the public the opportunity to provide input on the proposed consideration. The majority of individuals who responded to the NOI support the consideration of the initiative.
Stakeholders and members of the public shared opinions on what type of menstrual products should be provided and where the products should be located in the workplace. Additionally, respondents commented on the importance of creating safe and equitable access to menstrual products as well as the need to consider potential financial implications of providing menstrual products in the workplace. For more information, please see the What We Heard Report that was published on the Government’s website.
The Labour Program strives to maintain balance between the economic impacts of these changes on workplaces while best protecting the health and safety of employees when bringing in major regulatory changes. This is achieved through extensive collaboration and consultation with both union and employer stakeholders in an effort to ensure optimal working conditions and standards for workers while also bringing in changes in a way that does not overburden employers with new regulatory requirements.
The Labour Program has decided to move forward with amending the sanitation provisions under the various occupational health and safety regulations under Part II of the Code. As included in the Labour Program’s Forward Regulatory Plan: 2021 to 2023, the objective of the proposed amendments is to require federally regulated employers to provide menstrual products in the workplace to reduce the physical and psychological health risks that may be caused by the lack of access to menstrual products.
This approach will be developed in multiple phases including:
The initial phase of convening a roundtable is underway. The Labour Program will then have greater insight into how existing initiatives are being implemented. The roundtable will also inform the Labour Program’s policy and provide a framework for its consultations with stakeholders from various industries in fall 2021.
Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.
|Province / Territory||Signatures|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||3|
|Prince Edward Island||1|