Ferry firm forced to change toilet signs at Tribunal

Condor Ferries has been forced to change its toilet signs to remove the words ‘ladies’ and ‘gents’, after a transgender woman launched a legal battle against the ferry firm on grounds of discrimination.

Ms Erin Bisson, Jersey, brought her case to an Employment and Discrimination Tribunal on Friday, after staff on-board a Condor Ferries crossing told her to “use a disabled loo”.

Ms Bisson said that the use of limiting words such as ‘ladies’ and ‘gents’ on toilet doors was a form of “indirect discrimination”.

The British ferry company, which makes regular crossings between Britain, France and the Channel Islands, told the Tribunal that Ms Bisson’s claims were “well founded”, and subsequently admitted to a “non-intentional and non-malicious act of discrimination”.

Condor Ferries has since claimed that it has worked with Ms Bisson to draw up a list of measures “to remove the further possibility of inadvertent discrimination” in the future.

The measures involved changing its on-board toilet signs to include ambiguous symbols, rather than restricting words.

“Gender is down to identity, symbols is one way of dealing with this”, said Ms Bisson.

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Nigel is the Managing Partner and Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution in the London office of Mackrell Turner Garrett.