CWU Conferences

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Women's Conference: Female Facilities

6 January 2019

At the 2018 CWU Women’s Conference a motion was debated and carried regarding the provision of female toilets across the BT Estate.

The main instruction within the motion called for the Women’s Advisory Committee to work with the CWU Officers to ensure that BT urgently address the issue of access and lockable toilets in BT buildings where only one toilet is available; where multiple toilets are in place this should be suitably labelled to identify male or female use and fit for purpose.

The motion also stated that BT should ensure that where no toilet is available on site, details of the nearest toilet (in a public or BT building), is displayed in a prominent location within the building to assist everyone who needs access to toilet facilities.

As a result of this motion representations have been made to BTPFS and discussions have now taken place on the issue of improving toilet facilities, particularly for female engineers.

The business have informed the CWU that a project has already commenced which involves surveying each of the 172 buildings where there are currently female engineers.

The survey will inform on the requirements in each building in order to complete an appropriate refresh of the toilets. It is hoped that the survey will be completed by early November and that refresh will begin between November and completed by March 2019.

A specification regarding the female toilets to include

  • Gender neutral signage.
  • Good lighting.
  • Uni-sex toilets with single cubicle (no urinals)
  • Floor to ceiling walls or individual toilets.
  • Robust locks.
  • Clean environment and a feeling of safety.
  • Directional signage in the reception of the building.

Times scales are as follows:

  • Local P&FS refresh programme to commence late Autumn 2018.
  • Duration of programme will be circa 12 months

The CWU has also being informed of a Welfare location app that is at user testing stage that will inform engineers about the location of building facilities. When the app is opened a map is displayed with the location and the nearest BT buildings with toilets. It is expected that this app will be available in October 2018.

Clearly as more female engineers are recruited into the business there will need to be a requirement to monitor where new females join and in which buildings they are working in order that the provision of female facilities is sufficient.

It will be the intention of the CWU to continue to work with the business to ensure this programme is rolled out and that the refresh programme is completed.