Ensuring your workplace is free from any form of discrimination and harassment is critical. Workplace must be an environment where everyone is treated fairly and equally so you must make sure that staff, and this includes all staff at all levels are aware of their obligations surrounding this very subject as its not just the managers that are responsible. Managers carry another form of responsibility they are leaders for a reason, so they must make sure that they call on any behavior that is inappropriate.
I was called to a workplace recently where an employee was refused to express her breast milk by her supervisor and was told that she should consider expressing before she comes to work.
This continued for days to which the employee suggested to her supervisor that she would be happy to express her milk during her lunch breaks but the supervisor refused this and stated that they had not accommodated for this and there was no where in the site that they could consider.
The employee was incredibly upset and escalated this matter to their manager and had little luck. AllStaff HR were contacted and the matter was resolved amicably.
Under both the Federal and all State legislation it is unlawful to treat a woman less favourably because she is breastfeeding or to treat a person less favourably based on their status as a parent. This means it is against the law for an employer to refuse to make arrangements to assist an employee to breastfeed at work or accommodate an employee’s breastfeeding needs (including expressing). However, the onus is on the individual employee to negotiate with their employer around their individual breastfeeding needs and the organisational needs of the employer.
‘It is generally against the law to refuse to make arrangements to assist you to breastfeed at work, if these are reasonable. For example, it may be discrimination if:
1. your employer does not provide you with suitable facilities for breastfeeding or expressing milk 2. you are not allowed to organise your work breaks to facilitate breastfeeding or expressing milk
3. your employer insists that you work night shifts when other shifts are available that would allow you to continue breastfeeding
4. you are told that you must wean your baby before you can return to work.
Avoiding discrimination is critical. Australian employees are protected by national legislation and by State and Territory legislation.may give extra protection of rights, this is why you need to ensure that you have the right information.
Call All Staff HR 0466246955 for help.