Questions about EHRC guidance changing room law

(20 Posts)
sharksarecool Mon 20-Sep-21 20:55:59

Hello, I have two quick questions for knowledgeable people:

1. A few months ago I recall reading that the EHRC had quietly altered its guidance on exemptions for Gender Recognition Certificates. As I recall, the earlier guidance had stated that a transperson with a GRC must be treated as their acquired gender in all circumstances, and a transperson without a GRC may be treated as their acquired gender at the discretion of the organisation. The new guidance stated that a transperson with a GRC may be treated as their acquired gender at the organisation's discretion but this is not a legal requirement, and a transperson without a GRC must be treated as their legal gender and not their acquired gender. Does anyone else remember this, and can direct me to the document I'm thinking of?

2. I also recall reading that the most recent schools guidance states that single-sex facilities must be made available to all children. Is that right or did I imagine it? And if so, please could you link me to the relevant document.

Hopefully someone on these boards knows the answers and will be able to help. Thanks!

OP’s posts: |
Leafstamp Mon 20-Sep-21 21:11:14

I'm not sure I count as knowledgeable as I hadn't heard about any changes of that nature made by the EHRC.

Is this page of use? : www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/our-work/news/our-statement-sex-and-gender-reassignment-legal-protections-and-language

For anything schools related I always go to Safe Schools Alliance, this looks to be useful on toilets:

safeschoolsallianceuk.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/singlesextoiletsfactsheet.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3k2sLa3n1LQhRRykO5EeVHygGG3j7aIyyawhofBXscONtPTFf5T9dGXio

Good luck with things.

EyesOpening Mon 20-Sep-21 22:32:02

I haven't looked thoroughly but try here (for no 1) aealliance.co.uk/notices/aea-updates/

NiceGerbil Tue 21-Sep-21 02:12:11

Iirc

Schools in England Wales have legal duty to provide separate facilities for children 8 and over. (It's in the schools stuff not EA).

Of course loads have been contacted by various groups. Had law misrepresented. And changed their policies. Even though the new policies are illegal.

(Fucks sake).

You mentioned changing rooms. When it comes to anything private all bets are off. Shops, private gyms, pubs etc can do what they like. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Single sex in many situations was provided because expected and the norm (except tiny places with 1 toilet for customers etc).

So if they want to do whatever then ok BUT I believe they should be upfront about it. Rather than quietly changing policy in background and hope no one notices.

Anything provided for public by LA etc- sports centres, bogs in libraries etc. I am not sure what the rules are tbh.
What does have to happen is where not single sex individual cubicles with sink etc should be provided.
Changing a standard room with cubicles to mixed sex is a no-no.

Orgs such as DV shelters can use the exception that is there for certain circs. To only provide services and only hire women (female ones!) or men. This is a general exception not 'case by case' as many orgs were told. This includes trans people with a GRC if the other sex.

Complicated!

Why do you ask?

It's all been trampled over already anyway. Which is a massive problem.

sharksarecool Tue 21-Sep-21 06:51:05

Thanks for info. I was asked by a friend who manages voluntary youth club type activity. I think they are quite keen to maintain single sex facilities but were under the impression that's not legal anymore - which goes to show much misinformaion is out there. I gave advice similar to what's been posted here, but wanted to find the hard evidence that its still legal to have single sex and to enforce it on basis of actual sex rather than gender identity.
Thanks for all the information so far

OP’s posts: |
Leafstamp Tue 21-Sep-21 07:20:50

The Equality Act itself makes it perfectly legal to have single wax services and enforce them by sex not gender:

publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmwomeq/1470/147010.htm

Leafstamp Tue 21-Sep-21 07:21:15

*sex not wax!

Advertisement

Ereshkigalangcleg Tue 21-Sep-21 08:27:18

1. A few months ago I recall reading that the EHRC had quietly altered its guidance on exemptions for Gender Recognition Certificates. As I recall, the earlier guidance had stated that a transperson with a GRC must be treated as their acquired gender in all circumstances, and a transperson without a GRC may be treated as their acquired gender at the discretion of the organisation. The new guidance stated that a transperson with a GRC may be treated as their acquired gender at the organisation's discretion but this is not a legal requirement, and a transperson without a GRC must be treated as their legal gender and not their acquired gender. Does anyone else remember this, and can direct me to the document I'm thinking of?

I think what you are referring to was back in 2018, following a challenge by FPFW. See page 12 here:

https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/16877/pdf/

DifficultBloodyWoman Tue 21-Sep-21 10:47:50

Leafstamp

*sex not wax!

LOL - have you been following the Canadian waxing dramas?

Leafstamp Tue 21-Sep-21 17:53:54

Haha! Yes I did see something about Canadian waxing dramas - not the first time that problem has made the headlines IIRC.

EyesOpening Tue 21-Sep-21 21:02:50

sharksarecool

Thanks for info. I was asked by a friend who manages voluntary youth club type activity. I think they are quite keen to maintain single sex facilities but were under the impression that's not legal anymore - which goes to show much misinformaion is out there. I gave advice similar to what's been posted here, but wanted to find the hard evidence that its still legal to have single sex and to enforce it on basis of actual sex rather than gender identity.
Thanks for all the information so far

It's definitely not illegal, the government recently held a public consultation, the results were published IIRC but I can't seem to find it

In recent years, there has been a trend towards the removal of well-established male-only/female-only spaces when premises are built or refurbished, and they have often been replaced with gender-neutral toilets. This places women at a significant disadvantage. While men can then use both cubicles and urinals, women can only use the former, and women also need safe spaces given their particular health and sanitary needs (for example, women who are menstruating, pregnant or at menopause, may need to use the toilet more often).
www.gov.uk/government/consultations/toilet-provision-for-men-and-women-call-for-evidence/toilet-provision-for-men-and-women-call-for-evidence

The government wouldn't say the above if it was illegal plus I would think that TRAs would be taking Bannatynes to court if it was!

NiceGerbil Tue 21-Sep-21 22:09:49

Definitely legal OP.

In the current climate though if I were them I'd keep my policies available on request rather than on a website etc.

And hope no one/ group decides to find out and then get arsey. If it's a small local thing will prob be fine smile

LangClegsInSpace Wed 22-Sep-21 00:25:36

Until July 2018 at the earliest EHRC's non-statutory guidance said:

Where someone has a gender recognition certificate they should be treated in their acquired gender for all purposes and therefore should not be excluded from single sex services.

web.archive.org/web/20180719121613/https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/publication-download/what-equality-law-means-your-business

I think it was Ann Sinnott (AEA) who got this changed.

sharksarecool Fri 24-Sep-21 08:40:14

@LangClegsInSpace Thankyou! This is the thing I was thinking of. I will bookmark and share.

OP’s posts: |
Ereshkigalangcleg Fri 24-Sep-21 09:50:51

It was Fair Play for Women who got the business guidance changed, it's in their submission to the Women's and Equalities Select Committee which I linked above a couple of days ago. It's formatted in a way that makes it hard to copy and paste text but it's explained on page 12 and you can see a link to the FOI with the redacted correspondence between FPFW and EHRC https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/525230/response/1298678/attach/html/9/Emails%20Redacted.pdf.html

Gottalife Fri 24-Sep-21 23:37:13

The latest guidance is:

"You must also avoid discriminating against transsexual people. Treat a transsexual person as belonging to the gender they identify with (as opposed to the physical sex they were born with) unless you can objectively justify treating them differently."

For example:

"A clothes shop has separate changing areas for men and for women with individual cubicles. The shop concludes it would not be appropriate or necessary to exclude a transsexual woman from the female changing room as the privacy and decency of all users can be assured by the provision of the separate cubicles."

"One factor all shops should consider is, where a transsexual person is visually and for all practical purposes indistinguishable from someone of the gender they identify with, they should normally be treated according to their gender identity unless there are strong reasons not to do so."

No gender is mentioned nor GRC. They have realised that a "transsexual woman"( probably without a penis) and "indistinguishable" from any other woman is not going to raise any suspicions. Because "indistinguishable" means just that.

I wonder who thought this one up. "Transsexual" is so last century. Andhese EHRC people are really clueless aren't they? Now they suggesting women should pass a beauty contest to get access to women's spaces.

Gottalife Fri 24-Sep-21 23:43:00

P.S. Sorry for all the typo's

Ereshkigalangcleg Fri 24-Sep-21 23:47:28

The latest guidance

Citation please.

Ereshkigalangcleg Fri 24-Sep-21 23:48:48

Also, that guidance does not preclude excluding males from female spaces.

Gottalife Sat 25-Sep-21 00:06:10

Ereshkigalangcleg

^The latest guidance^

Citation please.

www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/equality-law-gyms-health-clubs-and-sporting-activity-providers

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