Released on: 21 February 2019
In response to a survey by law firm Slater & Gordon that found one in three breastfeeding mums are being forced to use a toilet to express milk when they return to work, Fran Bailey, NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor, said:
"Lots of mums continue to breastfeed when they return to work or study. Depending on the age and nature of your baby, you can usually find ways to continue breastfeeding if you want to.
"If you want to express milk at work you can request that your employer provides you with a suitable private space where you can do this. Guidelines recommend that you have access to a private, clean and comfortable room with a lockable door - not a toilet - in which to express. However, there is no legal obligation for your employer to provide this space. It's also recommended that you have use of a fridge to store your breast milk.
"Employers are legally required to provide a space for mums who are breastfeeding to lie down and rest if they need to. There is unfortunately no legal right, however, for your employer to provide breastfeeding breaks at work. But they must meet their obligations to employees who breastfeed under health and safety law, flexible working law and discrimination law.
"It's illegal for employers to treat women unfairly because they are breastfeeding. Anyone who feels they are being discriminated against in the workplace should contact Maternity Action."