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New building requirements for single sex toilets

Government confirms measures to reverse the rise of gender-neutral toilets as part of wider efforts to protect single sex toilets.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced it is acting to bring forward changes to regulations that will mean all new non-domestic public and private buildings will be required to provide separate single sex toilets for women and men and/or a self-contained private toilet as a minimum.

New regulations and guidance will mean women, who may need to use facilities more often because of pregnancy or sanitary needs, will now be guaranteed appropriate facilities either through a separate single-sex space or through a self-contained, private toilet.

The action builds upon the government’s previous call for evidence and a commitment and wider approach to protecting single sex toilets. Following a detailed review and analysis of responses, the government announced several policy goals, which included the following:

  • to amend building regulations and guidance to ensure separate toilets for men and women continue to be provided
  • to encourage the provision of a unisex toilet, where space allows
  • to make sure that where unisex toilets are provided, that privacy is ensured

This is significant as a technical consultation has been launched to review the requirements and the effect that it will have on the new draft proposal for Building Regulations 2010 Approved Document T.

The technical consultation paper: Toilet provision in buildings other than dwellings will run for eight weeks from August 13th 2023.


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