What are the benefits of providing breastfeeding facilities?
Breastfeeding provides the best start for New Zealand infants and is important for both infant and maternal health. Until April 2009 the provision of facilities for women who wish to breastfeed in the workplace had been spasmodic. The lack of facilities, breaks and explicit support for breastfeeding has acted as a disincentive for women to make an early return to the workforce after having children.
The provisions of the Employment Relations Act came into effect in April 2009 to help employers attract and retain capable staff. Many women who were previously reluctant to return to the workforce after having babies will be more willing to come back if their wish to breastfeed is acknowledged.
Information to support breastfeeding is available on the Ministry of Health’s website.
The Department has developed a Code of Employment Practice on Infant Feeding which supplies further guidance on managing this in the workplace.
You can get answers to specific questions by viewing our full list of FAQs.
Additional information is also available in Breastfeeding in the Workplace : a Guide for Employers.
Date Modified: Thursday, 31 March 2011
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and should not be used as a substitute for legislation or legal advice.State sector employers
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