All mothers working for the government will be entitled to paid breaks to breastfeed or express milk within a year of their baby’s birth from next month, it has been announced.
The move comes after the government bowed to pressure to speed up changes to its maternity policy from Deputy Louise Doublet.
The States Member said she was prompted to take action following the case of a Health worker, who Express revealed was bringing a discrimination claim against the government after being told that she would have to use her holiday allowance or take unpaid leave in order to express milk.
Social Security Minister Deputy Judy Martin had planned to change the law to ensure all employers in Jersey provide paid breaks, but Deputy Doublet put forward proposals this week to expedite the process within government.
Pictured: Deputy Louise Doublet.
Little over 24 hours later, the government has since announced it will be changing its maternity policy.
Stating that it aims to support mums by providing facilities in “key office locations”, officials said that the new policy would see them paid at their normal rate of pay for any breaks for breastfeeding or expressing milk during the 52 weeks after the birth of their child.
They added that there are currently less than 10 such requests per year from mothers returning to work.
“These changes to the Maternity Policy will take effect from 1 September, and all managers will be reminded that facilities for breastfeeding/expressing milk must be provided and accommodated when requested by a returning mother,” Constable Richard Buchanan, Deputy Chair of the States Employment Board, said.
“This reflects the Government’s commitment to support the UNICEF initiative on breastfeeding lead by the UNICEF Baby Friendly Steering Group. The Maternity Policy itself is also subject to review and will form part of a revised Family Friendly policy framework reflecting the Social Security Minister`s revised proposal which is due to be lodged in the Autumn.”
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