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Breastfeeding Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To provide a framework which offers support and flexibility for breastfeeding mothers in their transition back to and/or during ongoing work, and in their roles as parents.

2 Scope

This procedure applies all Employees.

3 Procedure Overview

This procedure outlines the availability of support, flexibility and facilities for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.

4 Procedures

The University supports and promotes the achievement of a work/life balance for its Employees. 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.

The University 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.

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 on each campus that meets appropriate health and safety standards.

The University will provide access to suitable facilities to breastfeed on campus.

4.2 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.

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.

4.3 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:

  • 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.

4.4 Children on campus

Employees 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 Children on Campus Procedure for more details in this regard.

4.5 Complaints management

Employees may initiate a Complaint under the Employee Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Complaints Procedure if the Employee believes a decision on the grounds of breastfeeding is discriminatory.

5 References


6 Schedules

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

7 Procedure Information

Subordinate Schedules

Accountable Officer

Executive Director (Finance and People Capability)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date


Effective Date


Review Date


Relevant Legislation

Anti-Discrimination Act 1991

Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986

Equal Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act 1987

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Qld)

Related Policies

Employee Complaints and Grievances Policy

Employee Equity and Diversity Policy

Related Procedures

Children on Campus Procedure

Employee Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Complaints Procedure

Prevention of Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Australian Human Rights Commission

Human Resources Website


Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary


A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....more


A person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program....more


The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....more

Definitions that relate to this procedure only


Breastfeeding, support, facilities, pregnancy

TRIM Record No


Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.
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