This morning I have arrived at the office to an email notification that the toilets in the building are to be used for liquids only due to a plumbing issue. There is no ETA for resolution.

The situation is beginning to get rather uncomfortable. The office is in England.

I need to relieve myself and I cannot. Was does UK / EU employment law say about the provision of toilets for employees? Am I required to stay in the office if these facilities are not available?

  • hello, consider editing the question to make it better fit site topics laid out in help center. In particular, this guidance may help to learn what is expected of questions here. Good luck!
    – gnat
    Oct 7, 2014 at 8:03
  • What did your boss say when you asked her?
    – Jenny D
    Oct 7, 2014 at 8:07
  • @JennyD i made the conscious decision to ask the internet before burdening my boss with my bowel movements. Professional courtesy mixed with shame.
    – Gusdor
    Oct 7, 2014 at 8:10
  • 1
    @gusdor Wrong audience. Expect a much faster and more to-the-point answer from your boss than from 'the internet'.
    – user8036
    Oct 7, 2014 at 11:11
  • 3
    I know this is not productive, but it's hilarious to me that this question is "on hold".
    – coder1
    Oct 7, 2014 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


There are specific laws in the UK regarding the number of (functional) toilets a workplace should have.


I would suggest that you need to talk to your boss and explain to her that it is impractical to work in an environment without loos.

Possible solutions are

  • Work from home.
  • Use the loos at a nearby office, restaurant, etc. (if practical & the other building owner is ok with it).
  • Close the building until the issue is fixed.

I would definitely report the issue to your local Health & Safety office. I would also suggest that you talk to your union rep about the issue. If you're not a member of a union - now's an excellent time to sign up!


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