All new public buildings to have separate male and female toilets, the government has announced.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities confirmed the move on Monday, citing “safety concerns” raised by some women over the rise in “gender neutral” facilities.
The approach follows a call for evidence which gathered a wide range of views, including from “pregnant women, older people, disabled people and people who come under the protected characteristic of gender reassignment”, the Government added.
“The rise in ‘gender neutral’ toilets raised safety concerns from women who feel they are losing privacy and being unfairly disadvantaged.”Govt spokesperson
Trans rights groups say that gender neutral toilets can help protect trans people against discrimination.
The Government said on Monday “separate unisex (or universal) toilets” should be provided if there is space, but should not come at the expense of female-only toilets.
The changes will be made through building regulations and guidance and will apply to new public buildings of a certain size.
The Government said this size will be determined during a consultation process to be launched this autumn.
Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch said: “It is vital that women feel safe and comfortable when using public facilities, and that their needs are respected.
“These changes will ensure that separate toilets for men and women are preserved at the same time as providing universal toilets for those that want them. This is a common sense approach.”