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The Lack of Facilities are so Uncivilized!

I work for a food microbiology company. Recently they have had some building work done that has reduced the amount of toilets. So, among about twenty members of staff we now have only one toilet downstairs to use. It's a handicapped one and has to be, also, shared with our drivers and any visitors.

Upstairs we do have a guys bathroom, and a gals BUT, that is upstairs.

Going to the bathroom, when you work in a laboratory is a task in itself as it involves the removal of your lab coat and washing your hands before you leave the lab. There's no real, 'popping to the loo'.

My employer knows I have IBS. I have registered my unhappiness with management and with our health and safety representative but, to no avail.

As a sufferer of IBS it is a consent concern whether or not the bathroom will be free for use and now that concern has been increased and it is causing me stress and, guess what? I am off work today because my condition is ruining amok.

I dare say I will be, 'talked to' about my absence when I return to work and I will be on a warning for my sickness rate.

I would laugh but that would only hurt so I'll just curl up, in my bed, hugging my poor tummy as the minutes are count down until it insists that I pay another visit to my bathroom regardless of whether or not I actually, have to go!

8 Replies

Sounds like an outrageous situation to me. Even without IBS there must be people waiting for the loo all the time. Reminds me of when my children were at secondary school and the queues for the girls loos were so long at break time they didn't all get a chance to go. There should be legislation regarding the number of loos necessary for the number of people in the building - or maybe there is already??



What a difficult problem this is for you, I just checked the HSE website (www.hse.gov.uk) to see what the regulations are and an employer is only obliged to provide 2 loos for 6 - 25 people, so unfortunately you haven't even got a case for a legal complaint.

If you really believe you might get a warning about your sickness rate, could you perhaps pre-empt the situation and get a letter from your GP or gastroenterologist to cover yourself?

Sorry I can't offer anything more useful than that!



Oh, it's ok. I knew they were just within the legal limit. Just plain annoying. Doesn't help that the down stairs loo as paper thin walls so, when using it, you can hear what they are saying in the office next door so I'm sure they can hear everything! I used to prefer the other downstairs loo as it was more private.

Having IBS gets so silly as well as embarrassing. Some of my work colleagues used to think I was skiving because I was disappearing to the loo all the time so I had to tell some of them about my IBS,. Not something you really want other people to know about but well, I'm sure you all know what I mean.


This sounds like a good idea to me. Is there no HR department to advise you? Good luck!


Poor you, just one question - are you in a union? If not join one and quick tell them of the issue and they can intervene and make your workplace aware of the seriousness of the condition, it may work in your favour it may not. It didn't in mine but that's because my boss didn't accept any difficulties I had and wouldn't even listen to me! His loss my gain, I don't have to panic about seeing him again. It is a registered, recognised medical condition! Good luck!


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Sorry wrong Conversation :)


Well, the news is there might be plans to improve the one loo, turn it into two. A guys and a gals. I'm not holding my breath though as the tape in the lab I work is still not fixed after about 6 months if asking!


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