Breastfeeding Policy and Procedure

Policy overview

1 Purpose

Provides a framework which offers support and flexibility for breastfeeding mothers in their transition back to and or ongoing study or work, and in their roles as parents.

2 Scope

Applicable to all employees, students and visitors on USQ premises.

3 Policy Statement

USQ supports and promotes the achievement of a work/life balance for its employees. The University is also sensitive to the needs of students and staff who wish to breastfeed while studying. In this context, the University acknowledges the importance of breastfeeding for both mother and child and supports women who wish to combine breastfeeding with employment or study.

USQ seeks to eliminate any direct or indirect discrimination against mothers on the grounds of breastfeeding, and will actively support mothers wishing to breastfeed on campus, including the provision of appropriately equipped parenting rooms on each campus.

(Approved by Council, May 2006)

4 Procedures

4.1 Provision of support and facilities

4.1.1 Lactation breaks

The University is committed to providing employees with flexibility to take lactation breaks during their workday. These should be negotiated between the employee and supervisor as part of a flexible working hours arrangement, subject to the University's operational requirements, with time off to be made up at a mutually convenient time for the employee and the work unit. Alternatively, employees may utilise approved accrued time off in lieu to facilitate these arrangements.

These flexible working arrangements may include:

  • Time off for an employee to express breast milk or to breastfeed her child either on-campus or at a child care centre.
  • Flexible start and finish times.
  • Allowing lunch and other breaks to be taken to coincide with feeding times, if preferred by the mother.
  • A short period of time off to return home if necessary.

4.1.2 Facilities

The University is committed to providing a clean, private room that meets appropriate health and safety standards and includes provision for refrigeration and appropriate sterilisation equipment. Refer to the HR website for details.

Students undertaking examinations who are breastfeeding should consult with their Student Relationship Officer and if necessary, the Equity and Diversity team in Human Resources, to arrange for alternative appropriate examination accommodation e.g. a parenting room or other nearby facility.

4.1.3 Support from supervisors

Supervisors should always be aware of the need to support employees with family responsibilities, particularly through the accommodation of reasonable requests for flexible work arrangements, including accommodating the need for lactation breaks or time to enable breastfeeding of children (refer 4.1.1).

Both supervisors and breastfeeding mothers returning from maternity leave will be given access to information aimed at supporting the mother's efforts to breastfeed after her return to paid work.

4.1.4 Flexible work options

The University will provide flexible work and leave arrangements that support the successful return to work or study of breastfeeding mothers, subject to mutually convenient operational requirements, which may include:

For employees:

  • negotiating flexible work arrangements that strike a balance between the operational requirements of the work unit and the needs of the returning mother, such as flexible start and finishing times, reduced hours, working from home, part-time work and job sharing; and
  • providing reasonable flexibility for mothers to take lactation breaks during their workday.

For students:

  • negotiating flexible attendance arrangements/venues at compulsory learning or assessment activities such as residential schools or exams in accordance with the facilities or resources available; and
  • facilitating access to on-campus teaching activities in accordance with the provisions of the University's human resources policy and procedure Children on Campus Policy and Procedure.

The University will provide access to suitable facilities to breastfeed and/or express and store breast milk on campus.

Employees or students who bring an infant on campus should be considerate of the impact on the work/study environment of other employees or students and should have regard for the potential hazards and safety issues that might apply to the presence of a young child in any location on campus. Refer to the University's human resources policy and procedure Children on Campus Policy and Procedure for more details in this regard.

5 References


6 Schedules

This policy must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

7 Policy Information

Subordinate Schedules

Accountable Officer

Executive Director, Human Resources

Policy Type

Regulated Policy and Procedure

Approved Date


Effective Date


Review Date

Relevant Legislation

Related Policies

Anti-Discrimination and Freedom from Harassment Policy

Children on Campus Policy and Procedure

Related Procedures

Related forms, publications and websites


Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Definitions that relate to this policy only


Any person employed by the University of Southern Queensland whose conditions of employment are governed by the Enterprise Agreement 2010-2013, including, for the purpose of this Policy, other contracted employees who are required to work at the University's premises


Any person currently enrolled as a student of the University


Any person, who is not a USQ student or employee, attending University premises


Breastfeeding, support, facilities, pregnancy

TRIM Record No


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Failure to adhere to this policy may be a breach of the USQ Code of Conduct.