Flinders supports all employees who wish to combine breastfeeding (which means breastfeeding an infant or expressing breastmilk) and paid work. This applies to all employees and may include employees returning from parental leave, new employees who may be breastfeeding, employees who may be relactating and pre-adoptive employees who may wish to establish a milk supply prior to their child’s placement.
Flinders recognises a mother’s need to ensure that work and breastfeeding can be combined comfortably and practically to promote ongoing benefits to the baby, mother and workplace. We strive to provide an environment which will assist employees to integrate work and life commitments.
The needs of the breastfeeding employee are minimal and short-lived, however we want to support women in their desire to maintain breastfeeding for as long as mother and baby desire. We therefore aim to provide a family-friendly workplace that enables employees to balance breastfeeding and their work responsibilities. As individual needs of the mother, carer and baby will vary, we are committed to offer flexible work arrangements that will meet the needs of the employee as well as operational requirements.
Lactation breaks are to be made available to employees to breastfeed (go to the baby or have the baby brought onto campus) or express breastmilk during work hours. The number of times women need to feed or express milk will be determined by the individual needs and age of the baby. The younger the baby, the more frequently a mother is likely to need to do so. An employee working a standard 7.35 hour day is entitled to one or more daily breaks of up to one hour per day (or on a pro rata basis).
Decisions made regarding requests for lactation breaks and flexible work options must be fair, transparent and capable of review. A written agreement between the employee and employer may be effective in this regard, and employees should notify their manager if their breastfeeding needs change or cease, so that any agreement can be amended as required.
If, due to operational needs, there is a need to delay the taking of a lactation break, efforts should be made to ensure that the employee is able to take the break as soon as possible, in order to minimise any risks to the employee’s health or milk supply or the child’s health.
Employees wishing to combine work and breastfeeding should negotiate their conditions as soon as practicable, with their supervisor – ideally this should be done prior to returning to work to minimise the impact this may have on the workplace. Supervisors should provide reasonable flexibility for lactation breaks, and employees should take both the organisational and personal needs into account, with a focus on minimising disruption in the workplace, when negotiating the timing of lactation breaks.
Support from colleagues is crucial to providing a supporting workplace environment for breastfeeding employees. All employees have a responsibility to treat colleagues who are breastfeeding with respect and dignity.
Women are welcome to breastfeed their babies wherever they feel comfortable.
Breastfeeding employees returning to work can seek flexible work options as per the Fair Work Act 2009. All flexible working arrangements are subject to operational requirements.
Related policies and procedures