ACCESS in the workplace to menstrual products should be considered basic requirements just like soap and toilet paper, says Chester's MP.

Chris Matheson is supporting a campaign by the trade union Unite which is fighting to change attitudes towards periods by making tampons and sanitary towels available in work and school environments.

Mr Matheson said: “Menstrual products are a basic requirement.

“If an employer asked you to bring your own toilet roll to work, there would be uproar, so why are tampons and sanitary towels any different?

"Women and girls do not choose to have a period which involves an expensive monthly cost.”

Mr Matheson campaigned successfully to ensure MPs provide menstrual products free to their staff; he is now encouraging all Chester employers to do the same.

He raised this campaign with the Leader of the House in October 2018. After months of pressure the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) announced that 3,200 staff and all visitors to MPs' offices will now have access to basic menstrual products at work. This includes every constituency office across the country.

Mr Matheson said: “For those who question why menstrual products should be provided on office expenses it is about officially recognising that these products are a basic requirement. We have set the bar for all other employers to follow.

“I understand that periods are uncomfortable enough without adding the stress of being caught without menstrual products during a busy day.

"It is only by making changes in our workplaces, our schools and in society that women and girls will be able to have a positive and dignified period.

"I would encourage all employers in Chester to provide menstrual products to their employees. It’s a question of equality and dignity."