I can confirm to the Deputy that period products are provided free of charge in all of my Department’s accommodation centres.
As part of the initiative to prevent period poverty and promote gender equality, since 15 March 2021, residents of centres that offer a points-based food hall system have not had points deducted for period products. Residents of centres without a food hall system have continued to receive period products free of charge from centre management. All centre managers were advised of their obligations in this regard by way of email on 8 March 2021.
A notice advising residents of the availability of period products free of charge was included in the March 2021 newsletter and can be accessed at the link below:
To date, 15 centres have submitted invoices to my Department for the recoupment of costs associated with the provision of period products to residents. Two of these remain unpaid to date as my Department is awaiting back-up documentation from the centres to support the invoice amount. No other centres have sought recoupment of costs for period products this year. In response to previous enquiries by my officials, three centres had indicated they received donations of period products from the local community/local businesses and four stated they intended to carry the costs of period products themselves and they would not be invoicing the Department.