Breastfeeding at work
Does your organisation support breastfeeding mothers? And all that comes with Breastfeeding at Work?
When is comes to breastfeeding at work, the law requires an employer to provide somewhere for a breastfeeding employee to rest and this includes being able to lie down – does your office have this facility?
Reading through the People Management forum a couple of weeks ago, I came across a discussion on breastfeeding at work, which suggests that many organisations are failing to provide the appropriate facilities. The discussion was started as a result of the announcement by a subgroup of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy childhood, that changes should be made to the Equalities Act 2010 to improve facilities for women to breastfeed at work. One comment was:
‘Here we are in the 21st century and mothers are still facing challenges with regard to motherhood (it seems especially in the UK), and yet they are doing one of the most important roles i.e. bringing up the next generation.’
Continuing Breastfeeding when Returning to Work
Currently, the law doesn’t require employers to give time off for breastfeeding, but you do have to provide the appropriate facilities for expressing.
Considering continuing with breastfeeding when returning to work, is a subject which crops up frequently in our maternity coaching workshops. One of the biggest barriers to women making plans to continue to breastfeed is the difficult conversation with a manager or HR about what facilities are available to support them.
The thought of this conversation is enough to put most people off asking, so it’s crucial to ensure these guidelines are readily available on the intranet/maternity policy for individuals to read through themselves.
Very simply; a clean, private, lockable room, with a fridge to store milk and a comfortable chair or bed is required.
For a PDF guide for employers supporting breastfeeding at work, see the ACAS guidelines here: