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Code of Employment Practice on Infant Feeding in the Workplace

( The Department of Labour today released a Code of Employment Practice on Infant Feeding in the Workplace.

The Code results from legislation passed in 2008 that requires employers, where reasonable and practicable, to provide facilities and breaks for employees who want to breastfeed or express milk in the workplace.
The Department’s Head of Workplace Practices Lesley Haines says Parliament wanted to give mothers who wished to return to the workforce after giving birth the opportunity to do so. But many were put off by the lack of facilities to breastfeed their babies.

“Employers are keen to retain the services of some of their most valued employees. They indicated they would value guidance in devising suitable arrangements,” says Ms Haines.

“The Code gives employers guidance on the factors to consider when negotiating a breastfeeding arrangement with an employee. It gives practical advice on facilities, length and timing of breaks, health and safety, and resources and space for employees who wish to breastfeed.”

The code was developed by the Department of Labour in consultation with Business New Zealand, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, women’s community and health groups and the Ministry of Health.

The Code can be found at

Supporting information and resources are available at

Media Release 23 March 2010 from Department of Labour.



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