breastfeeding rights when returning to work also in toddler

hi there. thought this would be the best forum to post in. i went back to work as a teacher this week still breastfeeding, and have come across some issues. the room they have provided me with is fine as long as its during lesson time, as during lunch it's very busy. it is lockable but many people have keys! 2 days a week there is no non-contact time in my day to express, so the only option would be lunch, which isnt suitable. ive raised it as an issue and been told there is nothing they are prepared to do. hr policy says bosses have to be sympathetic towards breastfeeding mothers and provide rest breaks, but time off is not a statutory right. this is the bit thats a problem. if i have the right to rest breaks, does that not mean i have the right to non-contact time to express? work are being very difficult and the union didnt know anything about expressing at work. the hr expert in this matter is calling me next week, but what do i do on the day i dont have time to express this week?!?! i also asked about a risk assessmernt when i first went back and was told theyve provded me with a room so dont need to do one.


  • They certainly do need to provide you with a risk assessment, this is law. You need to tell them in writing that you are bfing/expressing first though.

    Your work don't actually have any legal rights to provide you with somewhere to express, it's just recommended by the HSE to do so.

    I wouldn't have felt comfortable expressing in a room that was accessible to other people, and I know that worrying/stresing affected my supply.

    Could you express in your car? Not ideal, but I have been known to do it with a blanket over me, and window shades on.

    I would definitely arrange a meeting with your bosses for the risk assessment, and explain how this is affecting you. Ask them how they are complying with their policy to be sympathetic?

    Good luck xx
  • thanks for that. its the first thing hr asked me tonight and i said no, they said they didnt need to do one. will wait for hr to get back to me before i do anything now.
  • Make sure you read this:

    Basically it's only "recommended" that you get time for expressing but it is satuatory that you get a place to rest away from students etc. When I returned to teaching after having Abby I also had a room that other teachers had keys to. I put a sign on the door asking people to knock before entering and made them aware of what I was doing. Most people don't want to see you express so they respected my privacy. I was also offered a room attached to Matron's office and use of her fridge for storing milk. I could use the staffroom fridge if I wanted and the microwave for sterilisation.

    I always expressed at break and lunch on the days when I taught all day. I requested to be let off break duties and that was accepted. I mainly teach exam groups so didn't want to leave them during lessons even if it was a right.

    You definitely are entitled to a risk assessment but it will probably only mention rest breaks and access to the toilet. You could probably argue that your stomach muscles are still affected so you shouldn't lift heavy objects if needed.

    Hope that helps,

    H xx
  • thanks for that. ive been walked in on twice now, despite the dorr being locked, and only been back 5 days!
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