Access to facilities at work

The next part of this guide tells you more about how you can avoid all the different types of unlawful discrimination in the following situations:

  • Access to facilities at work
  • Dress codes
  • Managing and appraising staff
  • Disciplining staff
  • When a worker becomes a disabled person
  • Avoiding and dealing with harassment

It also suggests how you can, through equality good practice:

  • Avoid and sort out equality-related conflict

You must avoid unlawful discrimination in allowing workers access to facilities at work.

Visit the Core guidance to make sure you know what equality law says you must do as an employer.

This does not stop you giving different workers different levels of access to facilities for a reason unrelated to any protected characteristic, such as seniority within an organisation or the nature of the job someone is doing. 

However, you need to make sure that your rules about who has access to what facilities are not in themselves unlawfully discriminatory.

For example:

An employer gives a mobile phone to use for work calls to employees who have to travel a lot for work. However, phones are only given to employees who work full-time. This has a worse impact on women who are more likely to work part-time because they are combining childcare responsibilities with their paid employment. Unless the employer can objectively justify restricting the access to this particular facility in this way, this is likely to be indirect discrimination because of sex. 

More information

Last Updated: 15 Jul 2010