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Department for Transport: Breastfeeding

Department for Transport written question – answered on 30th November 2016.

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Photo of Alison Thewliss Alison Thewliss Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cities)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what (a) facilities and (b) other support his Department provides for (i) visitors and (ii) staff for (A) lactating mothers and (B) the expressing of breast milk.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The Department for Transport and its agencies is supportive of all lactating mothers - staff and visitors.

The Department has identified a safe and healthy environment in which to nurse a baby or express milk should a mother require. In some office locations where there is no special/dedicated facilities for this - small private meeting rooms would be adopted for these purposes if required.

Sympathetic consideration is also given to the availability of refrigerators for subsequent storage of milk for both staff and visitors.

Staff at the Department will have in place a pregnancy/new mothers risk assessment that is reviewed regularly with their line manager. This risk assessment would identify suitable local arrangements that would be implemented. These would include suitable rest facilities, allowing some flexibility in the working arrangements of the mother, and arrangements for suitable locations for either nursing a baby or expressing and storing of the mother’s breast milk.

Visitors at the Department would be offered similar arrangements to staff, to enable them to nurse, express or store milk and wherever possible a private room would be provided.

Other support the Department provides is arrangements for temporary or more flexible working patterns to accommodate the needs of the individual, or additional advice would be given by HR in relation to maternity leave etc. All staff have access to new mother’s information and internal online information, guidance and checklists. The new mothers/nursing mothers risk assessment process and forms are available via this route.

The Department adheres to the appropriate legislation in relation to new mothers at work; Management of Health & Safety Regulations 1999; The Workplace (Health; Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and The Employment Rights Act 1996 (as amended by Employment Relations Act 1999) for both staff and visitors.

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