'Historic' work-breastfeeding award clause gets go ahead

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'Historic' work-breastfeeding award clause gets go ahead

A host of entitlements for breastfeeding mothers working in the NSW public service have been approved by the state’s IRC.

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A host of entitlements for breastfeeding mothers working in the NSW public service have been approved by the state’s IRC.
 
The new clause took effect on 28 April, and includes two paid lactation breaks of up to 30 minutes long for full-time and part-time employees.
 
Part-timers working fewer than four hours a day are entitled to 30 minutes.
 
Workers may use the break to either breastfeed or express milk.
 
The clause also provides for suitable, private space with comfortable seating for the purpose of breastfeeding or expressing milk and the provision of suitable facilities such as refrigeration and a sink.
 
The NSW IRC approved the insertion of the clause into the Crown Employees (Conditions of Employment) Award 2009 last week.
 
Mums back to work
 
NSW Minister for Women, Jodi McKay, said the decision complements the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977, which seeks to ensure that no disadvantage is suffered by women who continue to breastfeed their baby when they return to work.
 
‘I am very pleased with the Commission’s decision to approve the application, allowing women to breastfeed and express milk in the workplace,’ she said.
 
‘This is a fantastic step forward for women’s rights and will help to encourage mothers back to the workplace.’
 
More awards to be varied
 
The Public Service Association has flagged to the IRC that it will be seeking to vary other public sector awards to include the lactation clause.
 
The clause is also accompanied by a breastfeeding policy.
 
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