Breastfeeding at work, what are your rights?

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A third of New Zealand workplaces are unaware of the laws around breastfeeding at work, according to new research.

Isis McKay from Women’s Action Group says companies need to have a policy that says discrimination won’t happen against breastfeeding.
Source: Breakfast

Legislation passed in 2000 says employers must provide mothers with a private space and unpaid breaks for breastfeeding in addition to those already stated in your contract.

The study also found 37 per cent of women surveyed didn't feel supported by their employer when it came to breastfeeding in the workplace.

Isis McKay from the Women's Action Group says that came down to miscommunicaiton between employers and staff.

"It is a two way conversation so it really does help if both parties know where things are at," she said.

Ms McKay believes that women should be prepared with knowledge around the rules and like other labour laws, employers should also know their responsibilities.

She also says workplaces need to create a positive culture among staff and management and suggest employers make it part of their day-to-day policy.

On the whole a large majority of women surveyed felt positive about their experience, with some employers even going as far as paying their staff for the breaks.

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