Bosses at the Rolls-Royce plant in Washington, Sunderland have become one of the first major employers to back Unite the union’s period dignity campaign.

The engineering giant, which manufactures aerospace discs for use in engines at the site, has signed up to Unite’s period dignity charter and agreed to provide sanitary products at no cost in its toilets. 

Unite is demanding that women and girls have period dignity. By making changes in our workplaces, places of education and in society, Unite believes women and girls will be able to have a positive period knowing that they are able to access sanitary products.

In addition to campaigning for sanitary products in the workplace and places of education to be as normal as having access to toilet roll, Unite is also calling for the government to deliver on its commitment to remove VAT on sanitary products as soon as possible.  

Unite convenor at Rolls-Royce Washington Gary Andrews said: “In today's world no woman should feel uncomfortable about menstruation. It has been a taboo subject for too many years. 

“Unite has encouraged the company to show its support by putting in free sanitary vending machines in all female toilets on the Washington Rolls-Royce campus as well as signing up our site to Unite's period dignity charter. 

“Unite’s workplace branch at Rolls-Royce Washington is also making a donation to a local women’s charity to help purchase sanitary products for women who are facing period poverty.”

Unite regional officer Suzanne Reid added: “This is really welcome move by senior managers at Rolls-Royce’s Washington site who are among the first to sign up to our period dignity campaign. 

“Having a period is a natural process that should never be a source of awkwardness. Unite believes that by changing perceptions we can tackle some of the wider issues around periods and ensure that no woman or girl faces period poverty.

“We would urge other employers and places of education to follow the lead of the Rolls-Royce Washington site in backing period dignity and for the government to deliver on its commitment to remove VAT on sanitary products as soon as possible.”


For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.