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Maternity policy change for government employees

14 August 2019

The Government of Jersey has been considering the issue of paid breastfeeding breaks and has decided to amend its maternity policy to provide new mothers paid breaks to continue breastfeeding their babies for a year after birth. 

The Government currently provides facilities for breastfeeding or expressing in key office locations and managers have always been encouraged to support new mothers who are breastfeeding. This change is being made in the light of a proposal from the Social Security Minister that all employers in Jersey should provide paid breaks for women who wish to breastfeed or express milk for the first year of their baby’s life.

The policy would apply to mothers who return to work within 52 weeks of the child’s birth. They would be paid for any breaks for breastfeeding or expressing milk at their normal rate of pay during that 52-week period. There are currently fewer than 10 requests each year from returning mothers who wish either to express milk or breastfeed at work.

Commenting on this change to policy, Deputy Chair of the SEB, Connétable Richard Buchanan said: “These changes to the Maternity Policy will take effect from 1 September, and all managers will be reminded that facilities for breastfeeding/expressing milk must be provided and accommodated when requested by a returning mother.

"This reflects the Government’s commitment to support the UNICEF initiative on breastfeeding led by the UNICEF Baby Friendly Steering Group. The Maternity Policy itself is also subject to review and will form part of a revised Family Friendly policy framework reflecting the Social Security Minister`s revised proposal, which is due to be lodged in the Autumn.”

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