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Breast feeding at work

If a member of staff is pregnant, has recently given birth or is breastfeeding their line manager must complete a new and expectant mothers risk assessment form.

After completing the form or following medical practitioner advice that the staff member or their child would be at risk continuing their normal duties, managers should provide suitable alternative work with the staff member receiving their normal pay. If it's not reasonably practical to offer suitable alternative work, the staff member should be suspended on full pay.

Health and safety law states that an employer must provide a suitable area for a breastfeeding employee to rest. But it does not state that an employer must provide somewhere for staff to breastfeed.

Employers are advised to provide a private, hygienic and safe place for employees to breastfeed and express milk to store in a cool area (this does not need to be for breast milk only).

Ideally, staff should have an area within their own work space for breastfeeding and storage. If locating an area proves difficult, there is a breastfeeding room in Outpatients, Area 2 at QEHB. There is also a fridge in the staff room for storage.

Managers must ascertain how long the staff member intends to breastfeed and how frequently they will require a break whilst at work to ensure it can be accommodated. Breaks would not be paid but time can be made back.

If a staff member wishes to store milk at work to take home it will need to be stored in a fridge in a clear labelled container.

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