Search Legislation

Period Products (Free Provision) Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Section 2: Provision of free period products: public service bodies

Section 2(1) places a duty on each department of the Northern Ireland Executive to specify via regulations which of the public service bodies within its functions must make period products obtainable free of charge in its premises. A “public service body” is a statutory body (i.e. a body constituted by or under an enactment) that either provides services to the public or otherwise serves the public interest (section 9). Regulations must be made to specify the premises listed in section 2(2), so that free period products are made available from hospital and educational premises. Regulations may provide a description of premises, persons in those premises and when those premises are said to be in use (Section 2(7)) Each such body must be consulted by the relevant department before the requirement is imposed on it (section 2(8)).

The duty to provide free period products is to be discharged by specified public service bodies via arrangements to be established in line with subsequent provisions (section 2(3)). This allows the body either to provide period products itself, or to secure their provision through arrangements made with a third party, for example a washroom services contractor. Free period products are to be provided in such locations within its premises as are specified in those arrangements (section 2(4)). If the body has multiple sites, it must make provision at each site (section 2(5)). The body is required to make sufficient products available to meet the needs of persons while they are on the premises, but not products for use elsewhere (section 2(6)). Obligations under this section (to provide free period products) may be imposed on bodies individually or as a class (section 2(9)). Regulations under subsection (1) may made jointly with two or more departments (section 2 (11)).

Regulations under section 2 that impose on a public service body the obligation to provide free period products to users of its premises can only become law if approved by resolution of the Assembly (section 2(14)). Section 2(12) allows regulations to make different provisions of the Act take effect, in relation to a public service body, on different days. For example, an earlier date may be set for when a body becomes subject to the requirements of sections 4 and 5, and a later date for when it becomes subject to the requirements of section 2 itself. That would ensure the body has to have regard to guidance, carry out consultation and then publish a statement of its plans before it has to begin making period products obtainable free of charge on its premises. Each department must review and, if necessary, update the regulations specifying public service bodies under subsections (1) and (2) no more than every three years (section 2(15)).

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources