Gender Neutral Toilets in the workplace(6 Posts)
Gender Neutral Facilities in the Workplace
Regulation 20 of the Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) regulations 1992 provides;
20.—(1) Suitable and sufficient sanitary conveniences shall be provided at readily accessible places.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1), sanitary conveniences shall not be suitable unless—
(a)the rooms containing them are adequately ventilated and lit;
(b)they and the rooms containing them are kept in a clean and orderly condition; and
(c)separate rooms containing conveniences are provided for men and women except where and so far as each convenience is in a separate room the door of which is capable of being secured from inside
Section 33 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 provides:
Section 33 Offences.
(1)It is an offence for a person—
(a)to fail to discharge a duty to which he is subject by virtue of sections 2 to 7;
(b)to contravene section 8 or 9;
(c)to contravene any health and safety regulations or any requirement or prohibition imposed under any such regulations (including any requirement or prohibition to which he is subject by virtue of the terms of or any condition or restriction attached to any licence, approval, exemption or other authority issued, given or granted under the regulations);
Breach of health and safety regulations is a criminal offence. The maximum penalty is an unlimited fine or 2 years in prison (see schedule 3 to the 1974 Act).
A summary of the Approved Code of Practice published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regarding the numbers of toilets required can be found here.
Unfortunately the summary does not specify how many female toilets have to be provided per number of female employees, merely the numbers generally. However that does not derogate from the words of the Regulation 20(1) which state that sufficient sanitary facilities must be provided- so one female only toilet for say, 20 female employees, would not be sufficient.
Obviously nothing in the Regulations prevents the employer from offering gender neutral facilities in addition to suitable and sufficient male and female facilities.
Regulation 21 of the W(HSW) Regulations provides;
21.—(1) Suitable and sufficient washing facilities, including showers if required by the nature of the work or for health reasons, shall be provided at readily accessible places.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1), washing facilities shall not be suitable unless—
(a)they are provided in the immediate vicinity of every sanitary convenience, whether or not provided elsewhere as well;
(b)they are provided in the vicinity of any changing rooms required by these Regulations, whether or not provided elsewhere as well;
(c)they include a supply of clean hot and cold, or warm, water (which shall be running water so far as is practicable);
(d)they include soap or other suitable means of cleaning;
(e)they include towels or other suitable means of drying;
(f)the rooms containing them are sufficiently ventilated and lit;
(g)they and the rooms containing them are kept in a clean and orderly condition; and
(h)separate facilities are provided for men and women, except where and so far as they are provided in a room the door of which is capable of being secured from inside and the facilities in each such room are intended to be used by only one person at a time.
(3) Paragraph (2)(h) shall not apply to facilities which are provided for washing hands, forearms and face only.
Regulation 24 of the 1992 Regulations provides
Facilities for changing clothing
24.—(1) Suitable and sufficient facilities shall be provided for any person at work in the workplace to change clothing in all cases where—
(a)the person has to wear special clothing for the purpose of work; and
(b)the person can not, for reasons of health or propriety, be expected to change in another room.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1), the facilities mentioned in that paragraph shall not be suitable unless they include separate facilities for, or separate use of facilities by, men and women where necessary for reasons of propriety.
Enforcement is via the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the case of the following workplaces;
•schools and colleges
•gas, electricity and water systems
•hospitals and nursing homes
•central and local government premises
Enforcement is the duty of the Local Authority in the case of ;
•offices (except government offices)
•nurseries and playgroups
•pubs and clubs
•museums (privately owned)
•places of worship
•sheltered accommodation and care homes
PLEASE NOTE- the Regulations apply to workplaces and are for the protection of workers in the workplace, not members of the public generally.
I am working on Guidance for students in schools and universities and members of the public but I though I would post the workers one first because its the most straight -forward
Does that mean places of worship have to have both hot n cold water in toilets? Mine dosnt!
Depends on if you (a) work there and (b) need it!
Not work as a visitor! There hot water just not in the accesable toilet just cold. It's grim
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