The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Single-Sex Toilets to be Compulsory in England's Buildings

Single-Sex Toilets to be Compulsory in England's Buildings
14 August 2023 | Updated 18 August 2023

Single-sex toilet facilities will become a minimum requirement for new non-residential buildings and places undertaking major refurbishment.

The new guidance also recommends the use of “universal toilets”, extra self-contained toilets which are a fully enclosed toilet room with a wash hand basin for individual use. Mixed sex facilities are only permitted when a lack of space allows only a single toilet.

Kemi Badenoch, Minister for Women and Equalities, claims that a move towards gender-neutral facilities have removed a “fundamental right” for women are girls to have privacy and dignity when using public facilities.

“These proposals will ensure every new building in England is required to provide separate male and female or unisex facilities, and publish guidance to explain the difference, protecting the dignity, privacy and safety of all.”

Gendered Intelligence, a charity that works to increase understandings of gender diversity and improve the lives of transgender people called the change “part of the government’s ongoing attacks on the queer community - trans people in particular.”

Their statement said: “Gender-neutral toilets don’t cause problems. They provide a space where everyone can go to the loo without a fuss. They’re also not replacing separate facilities - men’s and women’s toilets are still being built and used alongside gender-neutrals.”


Majority of Consultation in Support of Non-Gendered Toilets


The decision has been informed by a government consultation on the accessibility of toilets, which gathered over 17,000 responses.

However the findings showed that 83 per cent of responses were read to be supportive of non-gendered toilets; 12 per cent of separate sex toilets; 6 per cent of non-gendered toilet provision in addition to separate sex toilets; and 2 per cent of Changing Places toilets.

In terms of safety concerns, 79 per cent of responses mentioned safety concerns for trans/non-binary people and 75 per cent mentioned safety concerns for women.


Toilet Design Suggestions


As part of the evidence-gathering process, toilet design concerns were raised, such as:


  • The issue of cubicles having no gap under/over the door.
  • Making cubicles bigger, to accommodate prams, buggies, or pushchairs.
  • The need for sanitary bins in all toilets
  • Making gender-neutral toilets a third option alongside male and female toilets
  • The replacement of urinals with cubicles


A technical consultation that seeks views on the new proposals is now open until 8 October 2023.

Picture: a photograph of a wall mounted sign indicating a male and female toilet. Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 14 August 2023


Related Articles

Review Into Gender-Neutral Public Toilet Provision Begins

A call for evidence by the government to review the provision of toilets in public places for men and women has begun, prompting concerns from transgender support...

 Read Full Article
NHS England Uses Urinal Mats to Deliver Cancer Warnings

Urinal mats in public places in England will begin to carry blood in pee cancer warnings, as part of a major new NHS earlier diagnosis drive.  The mats,...

 Read Full Article
Cistermiser Wins Second BMA Award for Water-Saving Urinal Flush

Water-saving solutions manufacturer Cistermiser has won its second Bathroom Manufacturers Association Sustainability Award for water efficiency. Cistermiser’s...

 Read Full Article
Spotlight Interview – Richard Braid | Cistermiser

Richard Braid is the Managing Director of Cistermiser, a UK manufacturer of water and energy-saving management solutions for commercial and public sector...

 Read Full Article
Kimberly-Clark Professional Showcases New Dispenser Collection

At The Cleaning Show 2023, Kimberly-Clark Professional presented its collection of high-performance and touchless washroom dispensing systems. The ICON™...

 Read Full Article
Dispose with Dignity Campaign Launches to Address Male Urinary Incontinence Taboo

Prostate Cancer UK and phs Group are urging the government to make legislative changes and ensure male toilets provide male incontinence bins. A report...

 Read Full Article
The Future of Washroom Technology – Q&A With Dr Salomé Giao | Dyson

Sustainability and hygiene are key considerations for businesses looking to keep their public washrooms clean and welcoming for users. Dr Salomé Giao, Lead...

 Read Full Article
Pride Month 2022 – Resources for FM Companies

As Pride Month progresses, ThisWeekinFM has collated several resources that businesses in the facilities and workplace management sector can use to help them build a more...

 Read Full Article
The Technology Helping to Create the Washrooms of the Future

In the wake of COP26 and the implementation of the government’s net-zero strategy, businesses are racing to reduce their carbon footprint. One of the main areas...

 Read Full Article
Harrods’ Facilities Team Achieves Paper Towel Sustainability

Harrods, the Knightsbridge luxury department store, has solved one of its biggest FM challenges by diverting tonnes of its used paper hand towels from general...

 Read Full Article