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Croft v Royal Mail: between a rock and a hard place

18 Aug 2020, 21:02 ... ard-place/


They say “hard cases make bad law“. What little case law there is about single sex spaces and transgender people’s access to them falls into that category.

Croft v Royal Mail was an employment case which considered the issue of toilets and changing rooms. It went to the Employment Appeal Tribunal and then to the Court of Appeal in 2003. The outcome is not popular with anyone, since it does not give a clear answer either way.

It says that
“acquiring the status of a transsexual does not carry with it the right to choose which toilets to use”

Lord Justice Pill, Court of Appeal

But it it also suggests that employers can not solve the issue by simply offering a unisex alternative. The Court of Appeal said that at some point a male person should be considered transitioned enough to gain access to women’s facilities, even if they had not ‘changed sex’, but it would not say what that point was.


The case concerned a Royal Mail employee Nicolas Simpson, who later changed name to Nicki Simpson and then Sarah Croft while working as a van driver at the depot in Leicester.

Simpson, a father of three, and long-time cross dresser, had worked at the depot for 10 years before being diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 1997 and deciding to transition.

After a meeting with local managers in August 1998 when a ‘low key’ approach to transition was agreed, Simpson began to attend work “dressed as a woman” (as the tribunal describes it) and requested the use of the name Nicki. Management supported this by briefing colleagues about Simpson’s transition, and about their harassment policy. They offered Simpson use of the unisex disabled toilets “for the time being”. Regional management advised that Royal Mail were prepared to offer access to the female toilet facilities at an unspecified time in the future saying

“we have to consider two main issues, your own views and preferences, but also the views and preferences of our female employees”

Royal Mail

There is much more to read, please see link above.

Croft v Royal Mail: between a rock and a hard place

26 Aug 2020, 09:23 ... d-18826901

Complaint after 'transphobic' leaflets found at Royal Mail sorting office in Edinburgh

One leaflet said: "How can a man 'live as a woman' and how can a woman 'live as a man'?" The Royal Mail have confirmed that they removed the flyers as soon as they became aware of them.

The leaflets were left in the Royal Mail office in Portobello

The Royal Mail says it has binned leaflets left at its Portobello delivery office after complaints from a local resident who said that the material in the flyers was ‘hateful’ and ‘transphobic’.

The flyers opposed the Scottish Government's draft Gender Recognition Reform Bill.

The bill, which would simplify the process of changing the gender on your birth certificate, was part of a public consultation until March, it has since been suspended due to coronavirus.

One leaflet said that the bill would make it easier for “predatory men” to harm women and girls calling it an “assault on our rights”, another said "if being trans is an identity, not a medical condition, why is it treated on the NHS?"

Another entry on the second leaflet read: "How can a man 'live as a woman' and how can a woman 'live as a man?'"
“Royal Mail has a zero tolerance approach to any form of discrimination."

The leaflets were left out in the Royal Mail delivery office in the capital; one local photographed them and complained to the Royal Mail.

Describing the leaflets as 'transphobic', they said: “I find these leaflets especially offensive and troubling as a survivor of domestic violence who has had to access a service often targeted by such propaganda: Women's Aid.

“The danger came entirely from Cis men who hurt me and an underfunded system that perpetuated harm rather than working to prevent harm."

The local, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, added: “This kind of messaging is devastating for the trans community and also completely distracts from the issues that cause domestic violence.”

A Royal Mail Spokesperson said:
“Royal Mail has a zero tolerance approach to any form of discrimination. These brochures were left in the Portobello Customer Service Office without our knowledge. We removed them as soon as we became aware of them."

They added: “We are continuing to monitor the situation to ensure there is no recurrence.

“As one of the UK’s biggest employers, Royal Mail puts equality and diversity at the heart of its business. We are committed to creating a culture of inclusiveness while always looking to drive improvements in our diversity performance.”

A spokesperson for, whose logo appeared on both sets of leaflets, said:

"Royal Mail were quite right to remove our Bin the Bill leaflets as they date from before lockdown, when there was a public consultation on reform of the Gender Recognition Act.

"We campaigned to keep women's rights in law and now that the Scottish Government has indeed 'binned the bill' and left any reform for the next Parliament, any of our leaflets still in circulation can now be disposed of too."

They also added: "The 'Ten Questions..' leaflet is not one of ours and as we haven't seen it cannot comment."

The Scottish Government have said they will resume analysing the consultation responses 'when resources allow'.

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