Separate male and female toilets will be required in public buildings under planning law, it has been revealed.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick is to amend current regulations to ensure single-sex toilets are installed in new buildings and many undergoing refurbishment.
Places such as offices, shops and hospitals will be covered by the new rules. Where gender-neutral toilets are already present, partitions will be required to improve privacy.
A source close to Jenrick told The Daily Telegraph: “It’s a necessity for women to have access to their own provision of toilets, but too often separate sex toilets are being removed by stealth – causing great distress.
“We’ve listened to the concerns raised by women and the elderly about their security, dignity and safety” and “the proper provision of separate toilets, which has long been a regulatory requirement, will be retained and improved”.
too often separate sex toilets are being removed by stealth – causing great distress
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government launched a review on the issue last November, following several complaints that institutions had replaced single-sex toilets with gender-neutral ones.
An insider told the Telegraph that the Government’s response would “address misconceptions that removing sex-specific toilets is a requirement of equality legislation”.
address misconceptions that removing sex-specific toilets is a requirement of equality legislation
Earlier this year, The Times reported that women working for the Home Office have to walk to other departments to avoid using the building’s gender-neutral toilets.
Some women have been forced to walk to the offices of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, after the Home Office spent almost £40,000 in 2018 removing sex-specific toilets.