For far too long, workers around the country have had to put up with either no toilet facilities whatsoever or extremely poor ones. At the same time, the horror stories regarding grown adults having to ask permission to use the toilet or getting docked wages because of it, continues to grow. The fact of the matter is, toilet breaks aren’t a luxury, but a very basic human need and the provision for toilets is actually a legal requirement. This is why TUC, the trade union for British workers is calling for the following:
- Enforcement of welfare laws. This is to ensure places of work have provisions for toilets and washing facilities for both male and female workers.
- A change when it comes to law regarding workers and their right to use the toilet as and when they need, without fear of reprimand.
The issue that’s currently being seen is that most employers still believe toilet breaks should only happen in a worker’s own time. Despite this belief, they plan work which takes no account of toilet breaks while also developing a culture at work that frowns upon those using the toilet as and when they need. What many don’t realise however, is that access to toilet facilities is now becoming a fast growing health concern for workers in a wide variety of work industries.
For many, using the toilet during their work shift means a dramatic loss in wages as employers dock their wages for the exact amount of time that they spend on the toilet. Just the sheer thought of being timed while you’re on the toilet is enough to put most off. Other workers have to go through the humiliation of asking to use the toilet by raising their hand and waiting for the necessary permission from a supervisor, if they’re in the vicinity at the time. Due to a number of cuts also, many workers find themselves with a reduced amount of toilet facilities too. A great example of this would be within higher education, a number of employers have removed the provision for separate toilet facilities for staff and students which means that the teaching and support staff are now having to share facilities with their students as young as fourteen years old. This isn’t the worst of them all however, as some workers find themselves with absolutely no toilet facilities whatsoever or find them closed when working on a night shift. Even in industries where facilities have been provided, in a great number of cases they’re wholly inadequate with insufficient cleaning, no paper or soap and in some cases, a broken lock offering no privacy at all. This is quite simply humiliating. To take away a worker’s dignity is inhuman. It’s also very much against the spirit of health and safety legislation relating to access to toilet and washing facilities.
To find out just what TUC is up to and how they intend to better the welfare facilities for workers, take a peek at their website or better still, keep your eyes peeled for “Fight for your toilet break – part two!” If you’re an employer who finds themselves in need of toilet facilities for their workers quickly, contact us here at euroloo today!