THIS World Breastfeeding Week one Weymouth business is urging others to ditch any embarrassment around the subject and create a positive workplace environment.
Rely Ltd - HR and Training on Lynch Lane provides HR consultancy services and training to a wide variety of businesses across Dorset and west Hampshire, from helping with new starters, contract and maternity law to facilitating communications and conflict resolution.
August 1 – 7 is World Breastfeeding Week and the company is encouraging businesses to develop a robust and positive HR policy towards breastfeeding at work.
Becky Firth, HR Assistant Consultant with Rely Ltd, said that in the UK, the law requires an employer to provide an area for a breastfeeding mother to rest. However, it does not require the employer to offer paid breaks for breast feeding or expressing milk. The law also does not require an employer to provide facilities to breastfeed or express milk – this is because there may be health and safety risks in the workplace.
She added that any area provided needed to private, hygienic, safe and secure – a toilet or medical room for example could represent a hygiene risk.
Mrs Firth gave this advice to employers, she said: “Have an in-depth discussion with the employee who is breastfeeding, to discuss what could reasonably and proportionally be done to accommodate them.
“A good time to do this may be during one of their Keeping in Touch days, as then you can look into the arrangements before they return to work.”
Mrs Firth said employers should treat the request to breastfeed or express milk whilst at work in the same way as they do when receiving a flexible working request. This should be done by having a policy in place.
She said: “Whilst this may seem an awkward topic to discuss to some, it is important to be open and supportive on the topic, to try and find a resolution whereby an employee who is breastfeeding can return to work.
“By doing this, it will have a positive impact on your business as it will encourage loyalty and the business will hopefully have a great performing employee as they are happy due to being supported at work.”
Photo credit to World Breastfeeding Week
Article credit to Jurassic Creative