Periods in the workplace: Setting up a provision of free period care

Support periods in the workplace with a free product provision. Image shows hand reaching for a tampon in one of TOTM's workplace boxes

If you’re looking to support periods in the workplace, we’re sharing our top tips to help you set up a provision of free period products.

We’re here to help employers to support periods in the workplace. Our Period Dignity Workplace Scheme has been adopted in over 650 workplace sites across the UK. We’re helping companies of all sizes and sectors to introduce a free period product provision. Here’s our advice to help you get started 👇

Getting started: What are your workplace needs?

Good news, you don’t need to take a headcount or grab a calculator to assess how may products you’ll need. Start by mapping out how many bathrooms you will look to stock. From here, we can step in with a tailored recommendation on product quantities.

Getting started: What products should you look for?

Periods are personal so choosing products for your employee provision can be challenging. With the majority using disposable period products, opting for tampons and pads is the best option. To align the scheme to your corporate sustainability goals, looking for eco-friendly options is also important. Conventional products can contain up to 90% plastic and plastic tampons applicators (even the sugarcane versions) can take up to 500 years to break down. If your organisation is working hard to reduce carbon emissions and single-use plastics, then certified organic cotton period products offer the best option.

As part of your efforts to support periods in the workplace, you also want to ensure that you’re offering a range of absorbencies. Some of your employees may experience heavier menstrual bleeding and medium flow products might not be absorbent enough.

Getting started: How to display these products?

We believe that ‘dignity’ is a key word when you’re offering free products. To support periods in the workplace, how you display free products is important. Putting products in branded units or boxes helps to make these look presentable. It gives your employees reassurance that the products are hygienic and safe to use.

You may choose to add to a vending machine or a self-serve display box depending on your budget. With self-serve options, we recommend units that are eco-friendly and wipe clean (such as our compartment units). This ensures the display is hygienic for use in a bathroom setting. Baskets whether wicker or wire varieties can be tricky to keep clean.

We also recommend displaying product ingredients to give your employees full visibility over what they’re using. It’s not only ethical practise, but you can display compliant product usage guidelines and toxic shock warnings. This can be a challenge if products are loose in unmarked boxes.

Getting started: Telling employees that you’re supporting periods in the workplace

When everything is set up and good to go then you’re ready to announce this to your employees. In recent customer survey, 82% said that for a workplace to be ‘period positive’ they would expect to see free period products. This is therefore an opportunity to demonstrate the progress that you’re making to foster a period positive working environment. 

As part of your internal comms, you may want to share valuable resources on periods or set up a menstrual wellbeing talk. This can help with engaging employees and generating a buzz. When signing up to our Period Dignity Workplace Scheme, you’ll gain access to employee discounts, bathroom posters and exclusive virtual talks by our expert panel.

We hope these tips will help you take steps towards supporting periods in the workplace. Our scheme has been developed to make all of the above possible with full support from our team. You can learn more or get in touch for a free recommendation here.

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