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Call to Protect Breastfeeding Workers

Call to Protect Breastfeeding Workers

Women returning to work after having a child should have their right to continue breastfeeding protected by law, Council of Trade Unions secretary Carol Beaumont said today, marking World Breastfeeding Week.

Employers had been slow to voluntarily introduce breastfeeding breaks, so the CTU supported a legislated right to breastfeeding breaks and facilities upon return to work.

“This is needed alongside other family friendly provisions required to ensure a better balance between workers’ paid and family life,” Carol Beaumont said.

The Department of Labour’s recent publication on work-life balance included comment from a woman who had to express milk in freezing staff toilets, and go to a public toilet with a parent’s room when her husband brought her child in to be fed.

“If employers want to hold on to their valuable women staff then they need to think about how to meet the needs of these breastfeeding mothers,” she said.

Further improvements to the paid parental leave scheme were also needed to help to ensure more women were able to stay at home longer to care for young children, Carol Beaumont said.

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