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Breastfeeding and flexible working

All employers should have policies in place which advise on pregnancy and maternity issues.

Under the Equality Act 2010, new protections have been introduced which protect women who are breastfeeding from less-favourable treatment.

Guidance produced by the Government Equalities Office, highlights that for the business which provide goods and services the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 mean that a business should:

  • make sure women to whom services are provided are allowed to breastfeed on the premises if they want to
  • make sure women breastfeeding babies are not discriminated against, regardless of the age of the baby
  • make sure all employees are trained, particularly those dealing with the public, to ensure they understand the protections under the Equality Act 2010


Need more help understanding the policies?

The Equality and Human Rights Commission provides model policies on breastfeeding for employees

UNICEF has information on drafting policies for healthcare organisations providing maternity care


Flexible working

All jobs should be considered for flexible working unless there are clear business reasons why some jobs need to be excluded. 

To remove any ambiguity, employers should develop policies on flexible working which will need to take into account the legal obligations on employers and should address the following:

Types of flexible working

  • part-time working
  • job sharing
  • flexitime
  • annual hours contracts
  • flexible rostering
  • term-time working
  • school-time working
  • teleworking
  • voluntary reduced working
  • fixed work patterns
  • secondments

Read our essential guide for working parents

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