Government sources have verified that new workplaces, schools, healthcare facilities, and entertainment venues will be required to have male-and-female restrooms in an effort to reduce the installation of just gender-neutral facilities.
This week, ministers will formally declare that they are taking action to stop non-residential buildings from being constructed with only “universal” restrooms.
The proposals, which were overseen by the equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, were covertly authorised last month. According to the authorities, some children avoid using restrooms at school because they can only use gender-neutral facilities.
Since there was no alternate plan for trans and non-binary persons, the policy was criticised as being transphobic when it was initially suggested in May 2021.
Campaigners for trans rights have noted that some transgender men and women who worry about prejudice in binary restrooms may find comfort in gender-neutral restrooms.
Robert Jenrick, the secretary of state for housing at the time, refuted the claim and acknowledged concerns voiced by some women regarding the diminished privacy and lengthier lines brought on by gender-neutral facilities.
It comes after a heated discussion about whether trans women should have unrestricted access to single-sex areas like restrooms, jails, and locker rooms. The issue of trans women playing women’s sports has lately come up for discussion.
According to Badenoch, it is “important” to provide single-sex spaces for men and women, therefore the anticipated modifications to lavatory legislation are both legal and necessary.
The recommendations will be made following a technical consultation in the fall and will be applicable to buildings larger than a specific size.
Some women’s rights organisations contend that gender-neutral restrooms with a combination of urinals and cubicles “discriminate” against women since they prevent them from using urinals while allowing them to use cubicles.
“Furthermore, many women and girls are unwilling to walk past the urinals to get to the cubicles in the former men’s facilities,” the Fair Play for Women campaign group said to the government.
All structures that serve as commercial spaces should be subject to adjustments, according to Downing Street. To ensure single-sex restrooms are provided in newly constructed or renovated government-owned facilities, Government Property Agency guidance will be amended.