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(20 Posts)
Newwayofthinking Sat 21-Nov-20 09:22:35

So I was looking through our companies 'Trans Gender Policy and spotted the following things:

Trans is an umbrella term to describe people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth

The Equality Act 2010 (‘the Act’) states that it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee, job applicant or contractor on the grounds of that person’s sex, or their gender reassignment, or because they are married or in a civil partnership. Sex and gender reassignment are two of the ‘protected characteristics’ covered by the Act.

A trans person legally has the right to access ‘men-only’ and ‘women-only’ areas according to their gender identity. Ideally there should be access to gender neutral toilet facilities wherever this can be reasonably accommodated. Requiring the person to use accessible toilet facilities is not acceptable unless the individual is disabled.

Cisgender or CIS - Someone whose gender identity is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth. Non-trans is also used by some people.

I think I would like to challenge this if it isn't correct, any help or ideas on where I go from here?

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OneEpisode Sat 21-Nov-20 09:51:27

I think a trans person is legally the sex on their birth certificate (only changed by their GRC). I don’t think there is a specific law preventing my husband using the women’s toilets; I think it’s a social convention/subject to things like breach of the police. So the situation with a transwoman using the women’s toilets is similar?

However your employer is supposed to provide adequate toilets to employees. By telling legally male employees they can use female facilities they may be failing to provide adequate toilets to women.

womansplaceuk.org/2020/02/29/women-have-right-single-sex-toilets/

Toilets can be independent, or divided by sex.

Newwayofthinking Sat 21-Nov-20 14:16:56

Bump

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Newwayofthinking Sun 22-Nov-20 08:07:11

Am I doing something wrong?

No-one seems to reply to my questions 🤷‍♀️😔

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SmallPug Sun 22-Nov-20 08:23:06

What they’ve written is mostly right about protected characteristics. The bit about gender identity and loos isn’t. The Woman’s place website is good for the info you need. Workplace loos have to comply with 1992 rules which require them to be separated by sex. Possession of a GRC doesnt override single sex exemptions (which are still lawful as a proportionate means to a legitimate end). I’m having the same issue with my workplace loos.

IDontMindMarmite Sun 22-Nov-20 08:25:49

@OneEpisode it must be hard being invisible grin

midgebabe Sun 22-Nov-20 08:29:12

You could ask for clarity ..if they are defining trans purely as having the protected characteristics of gender reassignment, that is incredibly rare.

If they are covering identity as welll as reassignment, the same legal protections do not apply. This is obviously not good, as all people should be protected from discrimination and should have facilities available to ensure they can fully participate

However, Facilities can legally still be separated by sex and not gender. Toilets I don't recall being mentioned in the equalities act. It is common practise for sex neutral facilities to be created where tensions arise.

They should avoid labelling people as trans and cis as that could be seen as making assumptions about a protected characteristic.

Do they ensure that there are sanitary bins in all toilet facilities? Otherwise they could be forcing transmen to use the ladies at that time of the month

Newwayofthinking Sun 22-Nov-20 10:44:48

Thank you

@OneEpisode I did read your reply, I just needed a bit more filling.

It's incredibly scary putting your head up above the parapet, especially in a large organisation.

I want to have as much info as possible

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OneEpisode Sun 22-Nov-20 11:02:16

Hi Newway, I’m definitely not offended, I have seen lots of ninja’d posts on other boards, and a broad range of replies is obviously better for the op.

We know this board is special though, because it is under attack. It has lost a lot of posters over the years, because their posts have been reported over and over again and enough reports have stuck for them to get three strikes and a suspension, then ban.

So the “proper feminists” often save their (much better quality posts than mine) until they are certain that an unknown poster isn’t a troll who is just fishing for posts the troll can report.

I have lurked on mumsnet for years and registered when I had dc1, now taller than me. I try to post now, all over the site because much of what I have read has benefitted me and some of it I have even remembered. And lots of posts get ignored by busy people even without the special climate of the feminist board!

If you go back to your search engine and search your question + mumsnet you may find it’s been asked recently. If it has been, that may be what you need, and might explain why regular posters are reluctant to post..

Newwayofthinking Sun 22-Nov-20 13:19:33

Thank you @OneEpisode I totally get your points

I have been here years, but have changed my name as I am shit scared of being outed at work.

I would normally search for an answer if a general question, but these were a bit more select

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Thelnebriati Sun 22-Nov-20 13:26:13

There are many situations where a GRC does not make any difference to a persons rights, and they are based on biology since sex is also a protected characteristic.
Men do not have any legal right to use single sex toilets even with a gender recognition certificate since they do not share our biology.

There are only 2 approved kinds of toilet, single sex and single occupancy. Your employer must provide both single sex and single occupancy (disabled) toilets. If they choose to also offer mixed sex toilets they can do, but not at the expense of the others.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/feminist_activism/3959227-UK-toilets-showers-changing-legislation-reference-thread

Newwayofthinking Sun 22-Nov-20 15:09:46

Thank you @Thelnebriati

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Thelnebriati Sun 22-Nov-20 15:15:32

Good luck! I would normally say 'contact ACAS and your union' but they all seem to have been captured.

MishyJDI Sun 22-Nov-20 17:11:17

Thelnebriati

There are many situations where a GRC does not make any difference to a persons rights, and they are based on biology since sex is also a protected characteristic.
Men do not have any legal right to use single sex toilets even with a gender recognition certificate since they do not share our biology.

There are only 2 approved kinds of toilet, single sex and single occupancy. Your employer must provide both single sex and single occupancy (disabled) toilets. If they choose to also offer mixed sex toilets they can do, but not at the expense of the others.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/feminist_activism/3959227-UK-toilets-showers-changing-legislation-reference-thread

I've taken quite a bit of a look this, again it seems to depend on: "proportionate means to a legitimate end". No employer seems to have been taken to task yet over a trans person using a toilet, as it doesn't seem to meet the legitimate end test, or not been proven. A shelter for women needing protection seems to be what the notes of the EA act quote as a legitimate aim. Not toilets. Liz Truss I think is going to make this more clearer in time.

Raising these sort of issues are work can be a dangerous strategy, as you are seen to be a non team player unless you can argue successfully a legitimate aim, which will be up for challenge.

Good Luck!

gardenbird48 Sun 22-Nov-20 17:18:48

There was a relevant court case years ago where the ladies who worked the the Post Office (I think) took their employer to court over provision of single sex toilets (and I think the outcome involved a transwoman not having the right to use the women’s toilets - I think they made reasonable alternative provision). Sorry to be vague, I’m cooking a roast but will try and check for the article later.

gardenbird48 Sun 22-Nov-20 17:33:49

on: "proportionate means to a legitimate end". No employer seems to have been taken to task yet over a trans person using a toilet, as it doesn't seem to meet the legitimate end test, or not been proven

The EA 2010 includes spaces where women sleep (hostels, hospital wards etc) or may be in a state of undress (changing rooms and toilets) in their examples of proportionate means to achieve a legitimate aim (privacy and safety for women). It is based on a type of provision eg all rape shelters should automatically pass the test (although whether the management decide to prioritise the women clients welfare using the law is another story).

I think the law was originally written assuming that organisations used by women would have the needs and welfare of their service users at heart and were looking to protect the ability to exclude males so that is how it reads.
As opposed to nowadays where the management of some (most) of these places have made the decision to not utilise the exemptions allowed to them in law and allow male bodied people to access the services regardless of the needs of the women.

gardenbird48 Sun 22-Nov-20 17:36:34

Sorry me again - found this - hse says separate provision for male and female.
www.hse.gov.uk/contact/faqs/toilets.htm

Newwayofthinking Sun 22-Nov-20 18:09:27

Thank you once again

So the policy has been written and is available to all staff, however it hasn't impacted on me at the moment and possibly won't. Is it worth bringing the inconsistencies to light or leave it and wait for bigger battles?

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thinkingaboutLangCleg Sun 22-Nov-20 19:01:58

You could remind your managers that the changes proposed to the Gender Recognition Act, which would have allowed people to be considered to have changed sex if they simply self-identified as trans (instead of the present slightly more complex process), did not go through this year.

Many organisations are behaving as if self-ID was now the law, but it isn't. Self-identifying transwomen do not have the right to use women's workplace toilets. Employers have to provide either female-only loos or single occupancy rooms similar to disabled toilets.

thinkingaboutLangCleg Sun 22-Nov-20 19:04:02

I think the [Equality Act 2010] was originally written assuming that organisations used by women would have the needs and welfare of their service users at heart and were looking to protect the ability to exclude males, so that is how it reads.

Doesn't that make your heart ache? Only 10 years ago, women's organisations actually centred women.

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