Equality body changes advice on transgender rights

(Photo: Pexels/Sharon McCutcheon)

The equality watchdog has agreed to change advice relating to transgender rights after being challenged by a campaign group.  

Ann Sinnott, director of the Authentic Equity Alliance, said that the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) had issued mistaken advice to public bodies and businesses on trans access to single-sex spaces like toilets, The Times reports.

Her lawyers argued that the advice was a misinterpretation of equalities law. 

Commenting on her campaign, Sinnott said it was about striking an "appropriate balance" between trans rights and women's rights. 

The commission confirmed in writing to campaigners earlier in the summer that it would remove a sentence from its guidance. 

The contentious sentence reads: "Where someone has a gender-recognition certificate they should be treated in their acquired gender for all purposes and therefore should not be excluded from single-sex services."

The Times reports that the alliance wanted the EHRC to go further by publicly declaring that the previous advice had been incorrect in the eyes of the law, and taking steps to inform employers and training companies of this. 

A spokesman for the commission told the paper: "We have received the pre-action letter and will be responding in due course."