Failure to provide toilet facilities results in £15,000 awarded to employee!

A female security guard claimed sex discrimination and sexual harassment when their employer failed to provide a lock on a communal toilet. 

The security guard was the only female employee based at that site and the toilet facilities consisted of a washroom for men and an accessible toilet. The men’s washroom contained two urinals, two basins for washing hands and one cubicle. The accessible toilet was a single cubicle and contained a sanitary bin.

Other sites had separate men’s and women’s toilets which caused the employee to raise concerns regarding the lack of facilities for females at her site. The employee also complained that her male colleagues used the accessible toilet and she had to clean it before she used it.

After a period of a year, the employer eventually put on a lock and made a paper “Female Toilet” sign which they stuck on with Sellotape.  The sign was repeatedly off the door and male colleagues continued to use the accessible toilet despite the sign. The employee complained over a period of three years before she raised a formal grievance citing sexual harassment and discrimination.

The employment tribunal found that sexual harassment was clear and consistent throughout the case. 

Employers should act upon any complaints/concerns raised by employees in order to mitigate any risk of such claims being raised. Contact 121 HR Solutions should you wish support in managing difficult situations via enquiries@121hrsolutions.co.uk.

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