Why Employers Should Provide Free Period Products: Supporting Working Mothers in the Workplace

As we celebrate Mother's Day this weekend in the UK, it's a poignant reminder to also celebrate the invaluable contributions of working mums in our workforce. According to the Office for National Statistics - Families and the labour market, UK: 2021, 'In April to June 2021, three in four mothers with dependents (75.6%) were in work in the UK', highlighting the significant presence of working mums in today's professional landscape

Understanding the challenges and needs of working mothers is crucial for employers striving to create inclusive and supportive workplaces. The 2023 Annual workingmums.co.uk Survey provides valuable insights into the experiences of working mums, shedding light on their diverse circumstances and the obstacles they face.

The survey results paint a comprehensive picture of the challenges faced by working mothers. From childcare responsibilities to financial constraints, these women navigate a myriad of obstacles while balancing work and family life. One prevalent issue highlighted in the survey is the rising cost of living, which has prompted many to increase their working hours or take on additional jobs to make ends meet. Childcare costs have escalated significantly, impacting the career decisions of a vast majority of respondents.

In this context, access to free period products may seem like a minor concern compared to larger financial burdens. However, it's essential to recognise the tangible impact that this provision can have on working mothers. The survey indicates that 65.67% of respondents have two or more children, with 23.33% having a child with special needs. For these women, managing menstrual hygiene alongside their other responsibilities can be challenging, particularly when faced with financial constraints.

By offering free period products in the workplace, employers can alleviate some of the financial burdens associated with menstruation. This simple yet impactful gesture demonstrates a commitment to supporting the health and well-being of female employees. It also contributes to creating a more inclusive and equitable work environment, where women feel valued and respected in an environment where they can thrive professionally and personally.

Providing free period products aligns with the principles of diversity and inclusion. The survey reveals that a significant percentage of respondents consider their employer's commitment to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I) when evaluating job opportunities. By implementing policies that address the unique needs of women, employers can demonstrate their dedication to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.

Flexible working arrangements are another key consideration for working mothers, with 82.45% indicating that they would investigate an employer's flexible working policy before applying for a new job. This underscores the importance of accommodating employees' diverse needs and preferences.

The case for providing free period products in the workplace is clear. It not only addresses a basic need for female employees but also demonstrates a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and employee well-being. As employers strive to create supportive and inclusive work environments, initiatives like this can make a significant difference in the lives of working mothers. By taking proactive steps to meet the needs of their female workforce, employers can foster a culture of empowerment and equality in the workplace. In turn this has a positive impact on employee retention and satisfaction.


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