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New requirements for single sex toilet facilities

New requirements for single sex toilet facilities in new non-domestic buildings are being brought forward.

Mixed sex toilet spaces where cubicles and hand-washing facilities are shared have been on the rise, but concerns have been raised about the privacy and dignity they deny to both men and women.

The new building regulations will mean that new non-domestic buildings, including offices, restaurants, shopping centres, and public toilets will have to provide separate single-sex toilets for women and men. Self-contained universal toilets can be provided in addition where space allows.

Only if there is no space for single-sex toilets can universal toilets can be provided instead. A universal toilet is a self-contained, private toilet in a fully enclosed toilet room with a wash handbasin for individual use.

The regulations will not only apply to new non-domestic buildings, but also buildings that have a material change of use. Existing buildings that do not have a material change of use are not affected.

Kemi Badenoch, Minister for Women and Equalities, said: “These regulations will guide organisations to design unisex and single-sex toilets, ending the rise of so-called “gender-neutral” mixed sex toilet spaces, which deny privacy and dignity to both men and women.”

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-lay-new-law-to-halt-the-march-of-gender-neutral-toilets-in-buildings

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