PR & content agency BrandContent is giving free tampons to all staff in defiance of the ‘sluggish’ response by the government to abolish the tampon tax.
After years of lobbying, the government announced in today’s budget that it will abandon the tampon tax with a zero rate of VAT applying to sanitary products from 2021.
However, the 10-person agency says the announcement doesn’t go far enough and further delays to the abolishment of this tax ignores the root cause of the problem; discrimination against women which will still continue for months to come.
As a reaction to this slow response, effective from Thursday 12th March, all BrandContent staff will have access to free organic sanitary products, and employees will be reimbursed for the cost of purchasing a menstrual cup.
Sharon Flaherty, CEO of BrandContent said: “As a female-led business where the majority of our team are women who menstruate, it doesn’t seem right to stand by and watch our team be penalised simply for having periods. We’re taking matters into our own hands and giving free tampons to everyone at BrandContent because frankly, the government’s response to abolishing tampon tax is lacklustre.
“Women are already paid less than men, so why are they being penalised further by having to pay over the odds for sanitary products? Over a woman’s lifetime, we will shell-out £5,000 on sanitary products. It’s just an added financial cost women have to bear which only serves to widen the gap in disposable income between men and women.
“Following today’s budget, and at a time when we expect people to come under mounting financial pressure due to the impact of the coronavirus, companies should be doing all they can to support their employees.”
BrandContent prides itself on its commitment to sustainability and equality, and this is practiced at all levels within the agency. In order to maintain company ethos, all products provided will be as eco-friendly as possible, with the aim of creating less waste.
Each year, an estimated 1.3 billion tampon applicators are thrown away in the UK alone, and these usually end up in landfill or the ocean. BrandContent has selected Dame as its tampon supplier, due to their reusable applicators and organic hypoallergenic cotton tampons.
Rachel Besenyei, Head of Business Growth & Impact added: “Free sanitary products are something that the BrandContent team feel passionately about. There is a lack of research, and no government approval necessary, of the ‘ingredients’ that go into most sanitary products and the environmental impact of sanitary product use even in one person’s lifetime soon adds up.
“Enabling our staff to have access to organic tampons and a menstrual cup is a necessary and timely new policy, and we hope other businesses regardless of size or sector will follow suit. We have thought carefully about the products this policy covers in order to be of most use and accessible for all staff, whilst also enabling them to make environmentally friendly and health conscious decisions for themselves by removing the financial barriers to accessing these products.”