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Benefits of becoming a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace

Gaining BFW accreditation will position your organisation as a leader in providing family-friendly practices to your employees.

The accreditation is an innovative way for organisations to proactively demonstrate their commitment to supporting breastfeeding employees in a way that also brings tangible benefits to employees and employers.

Organisational benefits

Establishing a supportive culture for women's participation in the workforce is beneficial for both supporting women and business

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Increase in performance and productivity

Open, collaborative and supporting relationships with employers and employees drive efficiency and performance as well as a more cohesive and more productive workforce.


Productivity can be impacted when employees experiencing stress related to their family responsibilities, which could indirectly affect their productivity in the workplace.

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High retention rates

Workplace flexibility, breastfeeding facilities, return to work programs and parental and carers leave provisions are main incentives that help drive employee retention.


Having a high employee turnover can lead to a loss of specialist knowledge and productivity with high costs associated in the hiring and training process of new employees.

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Positive reputation

Family-friendly workplace policies addressing sex-based harassment and discrimination, reduce the risk of workplace discrimination cases, thus potentially avoiding damaging a company’s reputation.

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Attraction of talent

Positive workplace cultures and environments are highly valued for potential employees.


High-calibre employees are drawn to companies with a positive reputation for promoting and supporting gender equality.

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Become an employer of choice

Promoting your status as an accredited breastfeeding-friendly workplace in recruitment advertising gives employees and potential candidates confidence about the quality of breastfeeding support provided in the workplace.

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Overall cost savings

Research shows breastfed babies are healthier, so parents and carers require less time off work to care for sick children.  Anecdotal evidence also suggests bottom-line benefits from reduced absenteeism, and minimising disruption to workflow.

What are the risks and opportunities?

  • 1 in 2 women have reported experiencing some form of discrimination during pregnancy or parental leave or when returning to work
  • 32% of mothers who were subjected to discrimination during pregnancy looked for another job or resigned.

Does the accreditation align with current Australian legilsation?

The Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace accreditation aligns with both federal and state legislation, including:

  • Fair Work Act 2009
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984
  • Gender Equality Act 2012

The accreditation also aligns with the new Respect@Work reforms. These amendments introduce a new obligation to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, imposing a positive duty on employers to ‘take reasonable and proportionate measures’ to eliminate discriminatory conduct including workplace sex discrimination, harassment, and victimisation.

The types of discrimination

Deliberately treating an employee less favourably than other employees on the basis that they are breastfeeding is a form of discrimination. 

It is also discrimination when there are unreasonable requirements or practices in place that are the same for everyone, but which disadvantage women who are breastfeeding or expressing. 

Types of discrimination includes: 

  • Missing out on opportunities for promotion 
  • Missing out on training or development opportunities 
  • Inappropriate or negative comments from a manager or supervisor 
  • Job tasks, roles and/or responsibilities being changed without consultation

Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace business case


Find out more

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What is the Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace accreditation?

Find out what it means to be a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace

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Current accredited organisations

View the organisations across Australia who are currently accredited as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace

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What is included in the accreditation?

Organisations accredited as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace have access to exclusive resources to help support employees returning to work