May 17, 2022
EHRC Non-Statutory Guidance on Single-Sex Spaces April 2022: A Train Wreck
In April 2022, The Equality and Human Rights Commission released new non-statutory guidance for service providers on the operation of single and separate sex spaces, with specific reference to access by trans people. This misconceived and pernicious guidance encourages the use of pre-emptive blanket bans of trans people in a manner reminiscent of 'bathroom bills' being promoted by some US legislators. It is both internally incoherent, impractical and unlawful - contradicting both the EHRC's own Statutory Code (which carries legal weight) and The Equality Act, 2010. Any service provider following this latest guidance may be placing themselves at legal risk. Instead, they should continue to adopt guidance as per the Statutory Code and The Equality Act and ignore this latest material from the EHRC.
This Briefing Note, from barrister Robin Moira White (co-author of ‘A Practical Guide to Transgender Law’) sets out why the guidance is a 'train wreck' in more detail. It is essential reading for anyone wishing to interpret the law correctly and avoid legal jeopardy.