The Government has said that under the Equality Act 2010, providers are already able to restrict the use of spaces and services on the basis of sex and gender reassignment where justified. As such, it has said that further clarification is not necessary.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published guidance on existing legislation which provides much needed clarity to those offering single-sex spaces, As the guidance makes clear it is entirely acceptable for providers of single-sex services to take account of biological sex of their service users. Where it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, the Equality Act 2010 is clear that service providers can exclude, modify or limit access for transgender people, even where they have a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). This includes where a service provider has concerns that the presence of individuals who are biologically male could prevent them from meeting their aims, such as in the example below, included in the guidance: “A group counselling session is provided for female victims of sexual assault. The organisers do not allow trans women to attend as they judge that the clients who attend the group session are likely to be traumatised by the presence of a person who is biologically male.”
I can assure you that the Government is committed to maintaining the safeguards that allow organisations to provide single-sex spaces. It is crucial that the principle of being able to operate spaces reserved for women and girls is maintained.