The UK’s Ministry of Justice has dropped the salutation “Dear Sir” automated response to legal aid claimants following a complaint by a woman.
The “sexist” word has been replaced to now begin with, “To whom it may concern,” the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) – part of the Ministry of Justice responded to the woman.
“Historically, women would never receive official correspondence, so it made sense to use a generic male salutation.
“These days women outnumber men,” the woman wrote in a complaint, according to the Law Gazette.
The LAA is reported to have addressed the unnamed woman as “Ms” and responded: “A change is being implemented to tackle this particular issue and update the salutation,” Sky news reports.
It has now opted for “to whom it may concern”, though templates for automated responses “are still in the process of being changed,” according to the Telegraph.
An LAA spokesperson said: “We address people by their name when it is known, and only use ‘to whom it may concern’ when it is not.”