Channel 4 partners with WUKA to launch first ever period policy

channel4-period-policy-original-Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Channel 4 has announced the launch of its first ever period policy, alongside a brand-new partnership with pioneering sustainable period-proof underwear brand, WUKA.

The policy, created by Channel 4’s gender equality employee network 4Womxn, has been designed to enable employees who are experiencing difficulties with their periods, including health conditions such as endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), to get the support they need in order to manage their symptoms at work.

Research suggests that 89% of people who menstruate have experienced stress or anxiety at work because of their period, with symptoms such as cramping, pain and fatigue often affecting a person’s comfort and performance when working.

As part of the dedicated period policy, employees will have access to flexible working arrangements, a working environment assessment, free period products in all offices, microwaveable wheat bags to ease painful symptoms, a quiet room to take time out if needed, medical support, including free hormone and fertility tests provided by women’s health company, Hertility, and an array of accessible support and advice.

WUKA tie up

To mark the launch of the policy, and in a first for any of the major UK broadcasters, Channel 4 has partnered with reusable period underwear company, WUKA, to offer employees the opportunity to switch to safer, more comfortable, more reliable, and more sustainable period products.

Every employee will be able to redeem a pair of reusable WUKA period pants free of charge, with any unclaimed underwear donated to humanitarian charity, Choose Love – WUKA’s official charity partner – which provides essential life supplies to refugees, migrants and displaced people.

The initiative, funded by Channel 4’s Equity & Inclusion team and employee networks, 4Earth, 4Pride, 4Purple, The Collective, 4Womxn, 4Parents & Carers, 4Mind, and The Shed, is available to existing employees and all new starters, who will be able to redeem a pair of WUKA pants as part of their onboarding kit.

Alex Mahon, Chief Executive of Channel 4, said: “Most women will have 12 periods a year for 40 years. That is a huge amount of time, yet we don’t talk about women’s health much or what impact it might have on equity.

“Our new period policy builds on our suite of wellbeing support to help our staff to be the best version of themselves at work and is another step towards equity in the workplace.

“Designed by 4Womxn, we hope the policy ensures people suffering with period symptoms are empowered to get any health support they might need with zero embarrassment.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with a forward-thinking and innovative company such as WUKA, which shares our goal to normalise important conversations and stamp out unnecessary taboos around women’s health.”

Ruby Raut, WUKA CEO and founder, said: “A first-of-its-kind partnership for WUKA, this is an initiative that will set an important benchmark in both acknowledging menstrual health and addressing equity in the workplace.

“Channel 4 is leading the way and we are thrilled to be walking alongside the progressive broadcaster to support its period policy, offer its employees a more sustainable and comfortable menstrual solution, and prioritise gender equity by empowering all who bleed.

“We are working together to smash the taboos surrounding not only periods, but also menopause and bladder leaks, to ensure that nothing holds women back, no matter where they are in their cycle or their menstrual lifespan.