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b/feeding(or rather expressing) at work. What are my rights????

(16 Posts)
spina Wed 04-Jul-07 14:36:27

Hello
I return to work on the 16th July. I intend to continue to b/f LO. I'm planning to express once or twice a day. My line manager is lovely but I'm prob(almost def) the first maternity leave returnee he has dealt with.
What is acceptable to request to facilitate my expressing?
I am entitled to two fifteen minute breaks and an hour for lunch anyway. Can i ask for a room? To have my breaks at times that suit my boobs? (will phrase that one a bit more business like)

Shed some light please.

spina Wed 04-Jul-07 14:37:29

...and how do i even bring up the subject with manager?

Wisteria Wed 04-Jul-07 14:40:21

Every reasonable adjustment that is possible has to be made to enable you to be both the parent you want to be and the worker they need. Don't the new laws mean that if you require flexi-time as a new parent it has to be permitted as well, I think taking your breaks at a suitable time is included in this?

I think as long as you approach it sensibly there shouldn't be a problem. IME if your line manager is male he will be fine as saying no to you would be far too embarrassing!

Wisteria Wed 04-Jul-07 14:41:14

Won't you be having a return to work interview?
That would be the best time to mention it IMO

Debbiethemum Wed 04-Jul-07 14:51:42

I would think about your office/workplace and if there is an area there you can express in. Also work out the timings that would be best or you to express, for example if you have a long commute just before you leave may be the best time. Once you have worked out what suits you best, then start from there.

I am not suggesting going in all guns blazing saying I MUST have this but to give your manager an idea about you would like.

When I returned to work after having DD, I explained that I would need to express and could that be available. The response was 'Ummm - the toilets?', then I suggested the first aid room as it was not used that often and I could always leave if there was a medical emergency. The response was 'Wonderful idea, I'll speak to HR to make sure it's OK'.

My line manager not having children did not know what I needed and was not being obstructive, just didn't know what to suggest.

Please give them plenty of warning about this so they can confirm with HR, find out about room availability etc.

spina Wed 04-Jul-07 15:00:51

Thanks..

Gosh no. I'm certainly not planning an all guns blazing approach. my title may have sounded a bit stroppy. It wasn't meant to be.
I don't want to go in requesting something that is unreasonable. Likewise, my boss is so lovely that he would prob agree to popping out to starbucks to get me carrotcake if i said it would be expected. i wonder?

Jamantha Wed 04-Jul-07 15:23:36

See the HSE publication Guide for new and expectant mothers who work (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg373.pdf), specifically page 9 which, says -

"On returning to work you should provide your employer with written notification that you are breastfeeding and if possible ideally let your employer know before you return. She or he must then conduct a specific risk assessment – as outlined in Stage Two of the flowchart. Your employer is required to provide somewhere for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to rest. HSE recommends to employers that it is good practice to provide a private, healthy and safe environment for nursing mothers to express and store milk (but this is not a legal requirement). It is not suitable to use toilets for this purpose."

spina Wed 04-Jul-07 15:36:36

thanks again. really useful link.

fannyannie Wed 04-Jul-07 15:41:26

ooo you know what after reading that link provided to you I'm tempted to keep at the breastfeeding after all......just so I can make my employer stick to the rules when I go back *****evil ****

Debbiethemum Wed 04-Jul-07 15:53:56

Spina, I didn't think that you would go in all guns blazing. But I wanted to be sure that my post didn't give you the impression that you needed to make a list of demands rather than requests.

callmeovercautious Wed 04-Jul-07 18:37:41

Good link from jamantha. It is difficult but if you go with the answers eg "I suggest I could use the 1st aid room and store it ....." you should be fine. You can also request additional break time - I need longer than 15 mins to express properly - and you need to use your breaks to rest.

Easy for me to say - I haven't sorted this for myself yet!!!! (and I work in HR )

lyndyloo Thu 05-Jul-07 11:54:26

Unless you're in Scotland there is no legal right to bf at work btw. The guidelines are simply guidelines. You have a right as a nursing mother to a 'rest room' but there is nothing in law about having to have a room to express in and by this mean somewhere private and with access to a fridge.

I went through this on my return to work. Literally told there were no rooms available. I checked the legal situation and found that could take a grievance due to H and S issues but not strictly on legal right to express. It simply doesn't exist.

Eventually a solution was found - but not a great solution. Still feel peeved even now.

Hope you fare a bit better than me.

lyndyloo Thu 05-Jul-07 11:55:01

Express at work, not bf! (Now that would be even harder to arrange!)

evenhope Thu 05-Jul-07 14:14:48

I work in the public sector and our H&S instructions say they have to provide somewhere private for expressing- not the toilets- plus a fridge or if a shared fridge some means of storage that can't be tampered with.

amijee Thu 05-Jul-07 17:08:34

I looked into this when I went back to work and agree the only place that gives proper rights is Scotland.

However, if you have 2 breaks and a lunch break that makes it very possible and by speaking with the manager in advance i'm sure they would hook you up with a room and a fridge.

Little warning...it is quite stressful and if you are running behind at work it makes it worse to express. Try and rest when you can and also try to plan your day so you can be on top of work. I re-organised myself so I was doing 5 short days instead of 4 long days.

callmeovercautious Thu 05-Jul-07 23:10:17

My wording was poor wasn't it! Lyndyloo - sorry they were so tight, it's a shame some employers are not more forward thinking.

What I was trying to put accross was that if you tell them what you plan on doing, leaving no questions unanswered then they can't object. [hopefully]

My company would allow additional/extended rest breaks although they may not be paid time.

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