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3. Rest and breastfeeding at work

You must provide an area where pregnant workers and breastfeeding mothers can rest. Where necessary, the rest area should include somewhere for them to lie down. New and expectant mothers are entitled to more frequent rest breaks so you should discuss this with them, agreeing on their timing and frequency.

There are no legal restrictions on breastfeeding at work or any time limits on how long this should take. Before your employee returns from maternity leave you should ask for written confirmation if they are breastfeeding and intend to do so on their return to the workplace. This will give you the opportunity to provide a healthy, safe and suitable rest environment for them to do this.

Toilets are not a suitable place for new mothers to express milk. You may choose to provide a separate private environment where your employee can safely both express and store milk, though you are not legally obliged to do so.

Certain work presents a risk beyond those normally associated with pregnancy for breastfeeding mothers (eg work that could expose employees to organic mercury, radioactive material or lead).

More information on potentially harmful industrial processes and chemical, physical and biological agents can be found in European Commission guidance.

You will need to consider these, and any other risks to the health and safety of both her and child, for as long as your employee wishes to continue breastfeeding.