21 August 2019
Ahead of lodging a revised Draft Employment Law this autumn, a key part of which is designed to support mothers to breastfeed for as long as they choose, alongside identifying suitable Government buildings, Deputy Judy Martin is appealing to all local businesses and the Parishes to share amenities with their neighbours, wherever possible.
Social Security Minister, Deputy Martin explains: “Children are the Government’s number one priority and I’m committed to supporting new parents to give their babies the best possible start in life.” She continued “I am very aware that for some businesses, having a facility for women to either breastfeed or express milk and refrigerate it, provides a significant challenge. Therefore, I want to help businesses to prepare for the proposed changes coming into force by collating a list of breastfeeding facilities that businesses and Parishes are happy to share. I believe this will make it easier for smaller businesses to recruit and retain new mothers in their workforce.”
The proposed amendments make up the second phase of recommendations from the Employment Forum in December 2017. Improvements to breastfeeding rights are backed up by a wealth of evidence surrounding the benefits to babies of being fed breast milk.
Raluca Kovacs, mum of two young children, explains her experience of returning to work “For me, having an employer who has been supportive of my choice to continue breastfeeding after returning from maternity leave, and who has provided facilities that allowed me to do so, has made a huge difference. It helped to make returning to work a positive experience and meant I’ve been able to give my children the best start in life. I really hope that businesses can make their facilities available to ensure that all mums in Jersey can have the option to continue feeding for as long as they wish.”
Businesses that are happy and able to share their facilities with working mothers from nearby businesses who wish to either feed their babies or express and refrigerate their milk, are asked to complete a short survey with details of their facilities by 30 September 2019.
Outside of work, mothers are entitled by law to breastfeed wherever they choose, however some have reported feeling more welcomed by some venues than others. The Minister would also like to be able to share a list of cafes, restaurants, shops and/or other spaces that encourage mothers to breastfeed on their premises. As well as serving local mothers, it is hoped this will prove useful for mothers on holiday in Jersey. Owners of breastfeeding friendly venues and/or mothers who are feeding and have recommendations, are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name, address and opening hours of these venues.