Councils & Businesses Warned New Legislation Will Enforce Separate Male & Female Toilets

Councils, health settings and businesses have been informed that from today (Monday 6th May), in their planning, they should be mindful of forthcoming legislation which require new builds to have separate male and female toilets. The law will mean newly built non-residential buildings must have separate facilities, and cannot solely have gender neutral, universal lavatories. This new legislation will also apply to buildings going through major refurbishment.

The equalities minister, Kemi Badenoch, said the new law will combat the rise of gender-neutral toilet spaces, which she said ‘deny privacy and dignity to both men and women’.

In a statement today (Monday 6th May) about the new legislation, she said: ‘Today’s announcement will also create better provision for women so that our particular biological, health and sanitary needs are met. This is following our work last week limiting the use of mixed-sex wards in the NHS and demonstrates how this government is committed to ensuring single-sex spaces are protected for all.’

Housing minister Lee Rowley added, ‘We know all members of society value safety, privacy and dignity, and this new legislation will help ensure the right facilities are in place for everyone. It is vital that new buildings, particularly in public spaces, are serving the community with the right toilet provision.’

The government hopes to present this legislation to Parliament in the next few weeks and, if approved, have it in force later this year.

However, vociferous campaigners against this legislation have today argued that some trans, non-binary and gender-diverse people demand gender-neutral toilets because they face discrimination and harassment in single-sex facilities and the new law does not take account of that. Transgender rights groups argue that, along with other people who do not conform to the gender binary, trans people often face intrusive challenges when using male or female toilets.

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