Your Washroom Rights As An Employee

Published July 17, 2018

Employees have rights wherever they work. Rights that every employee should know and be familiar with.

These are non-negotiable and they apply to every area of your professional life.

This, of course, applies to the washroom as well.

Yes, you have important washroom rights that should not be ignored.

Read on to find out what these are.

Every Workplace Needs To Have A Washroom

A washroom facility must be available somewhere within your workplace (although if your work requires you to travel between multiple locations, for example as a builder, then your rights are slightly different).

For example, if your workplace is a set location (an office) then these rules are pretty clear and straightforward. There must be a washroom that has a toilet and a place where you can wash your hands. Also, this washroom must be available to all employees during the workday.

On the other hand, if you have a job where you move around a lot, and don’t have a set location, then things are a bit different.

So, if this is the case, then know that all the same rules apply, with one added factor. Namely, you will still have a toilet and a place to wash your hands, but the “washroom” must be no further than a quarter mile away from where you work.

The Right To A Washroom Break

Nature calls, even when you’re at work. Based on a study, a worker spends 41 hours each year in the washroom/bathroom. Every worker should take a few minutes to break in between work to avoid exhaustion and to regain strength and energy to get back to work. This is true for washroom breaks too.

The Right To Hygiene Supplies

While this might seem fairly straightforward, the specifics of  workplace hand-washing rights are often overlooked. Within a workplace washroom, both cold and hot water must be available along with soap. It’s just as important that either paper towels or a hand dryer are available for employees to dry their hands too.

It is important to maintain good health and hygiene in the workplace. So access to hand hygiene facilities and hand hygiene supplies is a must and should be provided to employees.

How Many Facilities Do You Need?

The number of facilities that are required in a workplace differs depending on how many employees there are in a workplace. It’s important to note that the gender of employees does play a part in these numbers.

The numbers that are specified in this section are in regard to the number of female employees in a workplace, although these numbers also apply to gender-neutral washrooms.

  • Between 1 and 5 employees, 1 toilet and 1 hand-washing facility.
  • Between 6 and 25 employees, 2 toilets and 2 hand-washing facilities.
  • Between 26 and 50 employees, 3 toilets and 3 hand-washing facilities.
  • Between 51 and 75 employees, 4 toilets and 4 hand-washing facilities.
  • Between 76 and 100 employees, 6 toilets and 5 hand-washing facilities.

The numbers that are specified in this section are in regard to the number of male employees in a workplace.

  • Between 1 and 15 employees, 1 toilet and 1 urinal.
  • Between 16 and 30 employees, 2 toilets and 1 urinal.
  • Between 31 and 45 employees, 2 toilets and 2 urinals.
  • Between 46 and 60 employees, 3 toilets and 2 urinals.
  • Between 61 and 75 employees, 3 toilets and 3 urinals.
  • Between 76 and 90 employees, 4 toilets and 3 urinals.
  • Between 91 and 100 employees, 4 toilets and 4 urinals.

Clean And Maintained Washrooms

Finally, every single washroom needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. Not only that, but all facilities need to be stocked with washroom supplies. So, soap and toilet paper should be regularly replaced, and should never run out.

It is highly recommended that a washroom should be cleaned thoroughly every single day. While not that necessary, it will minimise the risk of contamination and illness at the office.

Showers In Your Washrooms: Not A Right

Now, there are some things that really are a luxury and not a right. For example, showers are, indeed, a luxury. If you work in an office and don’t deal with chemicals every single day, then you don’t really need this.

Now, if you do work in a chemical plant or something of that nature, then having showers at your workplace really is a right.

Privacy In The Washroom: A Right

Washrooms should be designed appropriately. By washroom design, this doesn’t mean that you must have a fully furnished washroom of only the highest quality. By design, it means how the washroom design is laid out which is important.

Just to give you an example, the toilets must be separated and removed from each other by having a cubicle and a door. This is a standard throughout the whole world, and not having them is a serious breach of employee rights.

A Call For Employers – Improve And Take Care Of Your Washrooms And Facilities!

Many companies cheap out and do the bare minimum needed to set up their washrooms. While they do save some money, they sacrifice morale and even the health of their employees.

And even if you are money oriented, you can still find ways to give your employees the best facilities possible, while still saving some money.

And one of the best ways you can do this is to go green. For example, if you do this, you will not only help the environment, but you will also get toilet paper made from recycled materials. Or maybe soap from natural resources, and even get solar panels to help you save on electricity.

Going green has many benefits, and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

There is a lot more to a workplace washroom than simply having somewhere to go when you have to go. As an employer or upper management, it’s important to ensure that the washroom’s within the workplace that you run is up to par and is of the highest standard possible.

If you are constantly looking to optimise the workplace and increase the flow of productivity, then the best thing you can do is talk to your employees and discuss things that they are unhappy with. From there, you can work with your employees to improve the workplace, improve the mood of your employees, and increase the level of productivity.

The chances are that your employees are unhappy about something, and a common complaint from employees is the lack of attention that washroom facilities get. Work with these complaints and improve your washrooms!

Improve your washroom facilities, partner with Alsco. With our fully-managed washroom systems, you’re sure to have a clean, hygienic and well-maintained washroom for your workplaces. Contact us now!

Photo courtesy of by ASDG

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