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Do you have the right to ask for time/place to express at work if you are a temp?

(9 Posts)
Misspaella Sun 20-Sep-09 12:56:13

Hi there

DH was made redundant last year and has been freelancing since. Unfortunately his work is slowing right down. As you can imagine with the run up to Christmas and most importantly a mortgage to pay we are a bit worried about money. I may need to do some temporary work (as a Board Level PA) to inject some income to our household. I am talking like covering someone who is on holiday, sick etc.

I just don't know if I am allowed to ask for time and a place to express during a temporary booking. Would my agency (who places temps) need to know in advance I have these requirements and make the company comply?

I am a bit wary of flagging this to my agencies. I can imagine them just not bothering to use me to fill any temp bookings. Does anyone have experience on this situation?

I am BF DS (11 weeks) pretty much on demand. If a company was ok for me (as a temp) to express would I have to do it every 2-3 hours like I feed at home or could I get away with only expressing say twice (every 4 hours).

Hope someone out there has some advice.

bearhug Sun 20-Sep-09 21:59:06


I would imagine a temporary worker is entitled to the same facilities as a permanent one when it comes to expressing. (you may want to try the Employment Issues threads if you'd like better informed advice though).

I went back to work when my DS was 21 weeks old and managed to produce enough for 4 feeds doing 2 sessions a day. Get an electric pump that allows you to do both breast at once. If you pump at the same time every day, your supply will adjust to this.

trellism Sun 20-Sep-09 22:10:47

I think that currently employers are not legally obliged to give you facilities to express, but that it's strongly recommended that they do, and that those facilities cannot include the toilet.

Again, check the employment thread but I think you are protected under sex discrimination law here: because only women breastfeed it would be automatically discriminatory to refuse you a job because you will need to express every so often. However, you would need to let your agency know in order to be protected by the law. The ACAS website is worth a look.

I've been chased by agencies despite telling them that I'm pregnant - they were quite happy to send me for interviews for permanent posts and said it really didn't matter because the law protected me (and them!).

I hope you find something fun and well paid for the run up to christmas.

Misspaella Mon 21-Sep-09 08:38:01

I do have an electric double pump - I guess for temp work I could just pump twice (one during lunch break other in late afternoon) so hopefully not an inconvenience.


tiktok Mon 21-Sep-09 08:40:53

You are entitled to the same health and safety protection as anyone else - it's all on the web, and the posts here give accurate info, as far as I can see (I checked the rules just last week for someone).

brettgirl2 Mon 21-Sep-09 08:43:31

I wouldn't tell the agency because why on earth would it be a problem?

Misspaella Mon 21-Sep-09 08:48:34

Agencies have a tendency not to send in temps that need extra time out from work as you are paid for when you work; breaks not included. The less time you work the less you make and the less the agency gets paid. Hence my weariness to flag this up to them.

Also, with recruitment for temps at an all time low agencies want to send in people that just get in and do the work with little inconvenience to the company they are placed in.

BUT if I am protected by the same rights I may just accept a booking and then mention I will need to take a break in the pm to express.

trellism Tue 22-Sep-09 12:01:00

Do that. A temp's as protected by discrimination law as anyone else.

Just imagine, if you smoked, you'd probably end up taking more time as breaks anyway. I've come across plenty of temps that were quite happy to knock off for 20 minutes or so two or three times a day for a fag, and they weren't polite enough to let the employer know in advance.

Perhaps you could say that you'll come in a little earlier/stay a little later to make up the time if there's an issue?

brettgirl2 Tue 22-Sep-09 12:27:54

That's exactly what I meant grin

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