Breastfeeding Breaks

What breastfeeding breaks are women entitled to?

If you are in employment and breastfeeding, you are entitled to take 1 hour (with pay) off work each day as a breastfeeding break for up to two years after the birth. This time may be taken as:

  • One 60-minute break
  • Two 30-minute breaks
  • Three 20-minute breaks

 How do I apply for breastfeeding breaks? 

If you are returning to work and wish to continue to breastfeed you should inform your employer in writing at least four weeks before you intend to return to work.

 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 for the employer.  If there are no facilities, you may have your working hours reduced by one hour for each working day to facilitate breastfeeding without loss of pay.

If facilities are provided to allow breastfeeding 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. In that regard you are entitled to a paid one-hour break for each day worked and can take the breaks as outlined above.

 What am I entitled to as a part-time worker?

For part-time employees, time off from work or a reduction in working hours will be arranged on a pro-rata basis.

Can I be provided with more breaks if required?

These can be provided subject to agreement with your employer; however, you should check with your employer to see if there is a policy in place to allow for additional breastfeeding breaks.