Where can I access information and support when returning to work?
When preparing for your return to work, a combination of information sources are useful. talk to mothers at work, at playgroup or through online forums to connect with those who have returned to work while breastfeeding. Gather ideas from their experiences that might work for you. Attending local ABA meetings and joining the ABA online forum are excellent ways to connect with other mothers. Counsellors on the Breastfeeding Helpline are always available to discuss your individual situation as you put a plan in place. ABA also publishes a range of booklets containing relevant information.
Does my employer have to provide me with a paid lactation break?
Australian employers are not legally obliged to provide lactation breaks to their employees, however the International Labor Organization (ILO) recommends that breastfeeding women be entitled to at least one break per day for lactation, and that can also be accessed as a reduction in hours. The ILO further recommends that these breaks should be treated as paid working time. Many Australian employers are recognising that the needs of a breastfeeding employee are short lived, and that providing lactation breaks is a simple way to support them. While lactation breaks are becoming more common, access to breaks and breastfeeding support is still being negotiated on an individual basis in many non-accredited workplaces.
What about discrimination?
Whilst most employers are aware of their equal opportunity requirements and are happy to embrace workplace diversity, sometimes discrimination does occur. Sometimes employers are not sure how to implement equal opportunity measures. At an accredited Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace you can be confident that you will be supported to combine breastfeeding whilst working. Through the implementation of appropriate policy and procedures, accreditation ensures that the workplace supports breastfeeding employees, prevents discrimination, and builds a supportive workplace culture. National legislation and State and Territory legislation also exists to protect the rights of everyone.
See the downloadable files above for more information.