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Period Equality: Why providing free period care in your business is important

Lil-Lets is flying the flag for Period Equality.

If you’re an employer or business, you might be asking what role this plays for you, your employees or visitors…and why you should make period products readily available?

Well ask any members of your team who menstruate, chances are they’ve all been there, at work and bam! Their period arrives. 

Great if they are prepared and have products in their bag or pocket, but sometimes a period can catch someone unawares and unprepared!

Yes, they can go ask a colleague if they can help, and with fingers crossed hope they have a supply that are similar to the ones they use. But it can still be embarrassing and even though in the 21st century periods should no longer be a taboo, it can be an awkward chat to have.

That’s why Lil-Lets are flying the flag for Period Equality.

But what does this even mean? And isn’t it just the same as Period Poverty initiatives??

How does Period Equality differ to Period Poverty?

Now you’ve probably heard all about period poverty and may even be doing your bit by donating products and funds to local charities in your area.

Here at Lil-Lets we proactively talk about Period Equality and Period Poverty because both of them are very different, and both of them matter. 

Period Poverty starts from a place of hardship, when someone is either unable to access or afford products to manage their periods. It is often linked to the homeless, but the facts are that many families are struggling to cope financially and period products for them, are considered  a luxury.

Period Equality means that everyone is included and that no one is disadvantaged by having their period wherever they are, or whatever they are doing - be it at work, socialising, taking part in sports or exercise! This isn’t just about being able to afford products it’s about having access to them whenever needed and whatever they’re are doing. Using the term ‘Period Equality’ brings inclusivity to everyone who has periods.

Why period equality in your business is important

It’s surprising that stigma around periods in the workplace, or in other public places is still so prevalent. After all around 47% of most workforces are made up of menstruators. Isn’t it about time we normalised this conversation and gave people access to period products as and when they need them.

  • Did you know that almost 9 out of 10 women and people claim to have started their periods in work, or when away from home - unexpectedly and without products to hand.
  • Did you also know that up to 36 days a year are said to be lost due to period related issues.
  • Periods can be quite disruptive to both employees and business needs, and rather than worrying about leaving meetings, production lines etc. to run to the nearest store to stock up, wouldn’t it make sense to have products freely available in the workplace.
  • Offering a Period Equality initiative will not only benefit employees and visitors to your business, it will show you take gender equality seriously and appreciate the equal rights and unique challenges faced by people who menstruate. What an opportunity to break down barriers and open up the topic for a more free flowing conversation, and normalisation about this topic.
  • And ‘yes’ period equality initiatives can help those on a low income, having free access to products in the workplace, or other areas can help lift this financial burden.

We’re sure you’ll agree making access easy to period products during the working day just feels like common sense. 

As a business and employer, where can I go to for more advice?

In May 2023, BSI who are the UK National Standards Body has published the Menstruation, menstrual health, and menopause in the workplace standard (BS 30416). This provides guidance regarding culture, work environment and best practice and was developed in consultation with large businesses, trade unions, charities, and the general public.  Menopause standard launched to help organizations support workers | BSI (bsigroup.com) 

Here are 5 steps from the standard that workplaces should consider: 

  1. Workplace culture, so that opportunities for open dialogue and support are available.
  2. Look at training and resources for Line Managers and HR staff so that they are suitably informed and qualified to understand the impact of periods and the menopause.
  3. Review the workplace environment so that provision is made for toilet access, changing areas and rest spaces.
  4. Are menopause and menstruation, including the perimenopause covered in Company Policies.  
  5. Look at whether reasonable adjustments can be made to work patterns, employee well-ness initiatives in the work environment, and comfort breaks where necessary

Such recognition and government backing to provide free impartial advice is a huge step forward, particularly when periods are part and parcel of our working lives. Many employers are now waking up to this with Menstrual Health or Hormone Health being included in their wellbeing policies.  

Where can I purchase period products in bulk for my workforce?

If you’re looking to promote period equality in your workplace and want to provide your employees with the best possible selection of period products, then you've come to the right place. We are here to make it as easy as possible, helping you to understand how much product employees will need and how much it would cost you to provide it.

Simply fill out our enquiry form and we'll contact you to discuss the next steps to becoming a period equal employer.

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