What breast feeding breaks are women entitled to?
The Maternity Protection (Amendment) Act 2004 allows for certain women in employment to take time off work each day to breastfeed. The provision applies to all women in employment who have given birth and are breastfeeding within the previous 26 weeks.
Breastfeeding women are entitled to take 1 hour (with pay) off work each day as a breastfeeding break for up to 26 weeks after birth. This time may be taken as:
- One 60-minute break
- Two 30-minute breaks
- Three 20- minute breaks
Does my employer have to provide facilities for me to breastfeed or express milk?
No, if the provision of such facilities would give rise to a burden of costs. If there are no facilities, you may have your working hours reduced to facilitate breastfeeding without loss of pay.
If facilities are provided to allow breast feeding or to express milk, these need to be safe and private, and you must be provided with a facility to store breast milk as required.
Can I be provided with more breaks if required?
These can be agreed with your employer; however, you should check with your employer to see if there is a policy in place to allow you to breast feeding breaks past the 26 weeks.