How should employers approach the question of which toilet facilities employees who are undergoing gender reassignment can use?
Under the Equality Act 2010, employees are protected from direct and indirect discrimination because they propose to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone gender reassignment. These provisions do not specifically address access to single-sex toilet facilities for employees who are undergoing gender reassignment. However, guidance produced by the Government Equalities Office on The recruitment and retention of transgender staff states that trans people should be able to use facilities appropriate to their acquired gender when they start to live in the acquired gender role on a full-time basis.
The employer should discuss with the employee when they would like to start using the facilities of their acquired gender, along with related issues such as how to communicate with other staff about their transition.
Where space allows, employers could consider providing some clearly marked gender-neutral toilets for any employee to use. This could help to create a more inclusive environment for trans employees in general.