The United Kingdom’s National Health Service has issued new guidelines which allow transgender staffers to use whichever single-sex facilities correspond with their gender identity.
The Daily Mail reported that the Staff Trans Equality Policy was published by Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) and crafted with the help of the group Stonewall.
Trans employees of the government healthcare provider may choose which facility they’d like to use at any stage of gender transition.
“It is not acceptable to expect an individual undergoing gender reassignment to use facilities designated for use by those of their birth gender,” the policy states.
“Following gender reassignment, whether or not this has involved surgical procedures, the individual should be fully supported in using all facilities appropriate to his or her acquired gender.”
If there are any objections to who is using which bathroom, the policy explicitly notes that this will not prevent a trans person from being allowed to use the facilities they choose.
“Should there be any objections to this [entitlement], a manager will deal with the objections in a sensitive and understanding way while not denying the trans person access to facilities appropriate to their lived gender,” it reads, as quoted by The Daily Mail.
Critics say that this policy only favors certain NHS employees while disregarding the interests of others, and that they ought to have policy that accommodates everyone’s needs and comfort level in accordance with pre-existing UK law.
“There are many reasons why women want access to toilet and changing facilities reserved exclusively for them,” says Kiri Tunks of the advocacy group Women’s Place UK. Policies that allow biological males to share facilities with women and girls have typically raised objections from traditionalists and radical feminists alike over the last several years in the US and the UK.
“Employers have a duty to balance the rights of all their employees under the Equality Act,” she explained.
“They need to look for solutions which address everyone’s needs – instead of pursuing actions likely to create tension and conflict.”
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