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Ontario to require menstrual products on construction sites

The Ontario government will require large construction sites in the province to provide menstrual products as part of an omnibus bill set to be introduced Monday.

Labour Minister David Piccini says the requirement will apply to sites of 20 workers or more where construction is expected to last at least three months.

The Working for Workers bill, the fifth installment in a series of government labour legislation, will also require employers at construction sites and other workplaces to keep washrooms clean and sanitary and maintain records of cleaning.

In a news release issued Monday, the government said the legislation, which it described as a “first of its kind” in Canada, would make the skilled trades more accessible to women and support women at work.

Also included in the bill is the addition of “virtual harassment” to the Occupational Health and Safety Act’s definition of workplace harassment and workplace sexual harassment. As well, the bill pledges to engage with harassment survivors, legal experts, and stakeholders to create a “duty to act” for employers to address workplace misconduct.

Parts of the bill were teased last week, with the government announcing bigger fines for “bad actor” employers in the province and expanded health coverage for wildland firefighters. Also included is the removal of sick note requirements for workers on short absences to reduce paperwork for family doctors.

Piccini is expected to table the bill in the legislature Monday afternoon.

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