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)
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.
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 Schedule 1 - Facilities for details.
Students undertaking examinations who are breastfeeding should consult with USQ Student Administration and if necessary, the Equal Opportunity Office to arrange for alternative appropriate examination accommodation e.g. a parenting room or other nearby facility.
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 2.1.1).
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.
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.
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
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 for more details in this regard.
USQ Toowoomba Campus
The Parenting Room is located in K Block, Room 221, and is equipped with a table and comfortable seating, a high chair, mini boil, a lounge chair, sink (with hot and cold water and soap dispenser), fan, heating, microwave oven, refrigerator, notice board and internal telephone. The access code is available from the USQ Nurse, located in Student Services.
Child change facilities are provided in unisex, male, and female toilets at a number of different locations across campus. (Refer to campus directory)
On-campus staff who would prefer to express or breastfeed in their office or work space are encouraged to do so, after initial consultation with their supervisor, and with appropriate sensitivity to the needs of work colleagues.
USQ Fraser Coast Campus*
USQ Springfield Campus
A parenting room is available on the Springfield Campus on Level 4 of the USQ Building A for student and staff use.
A baby change table is available in the Disabled Access toilet on Level 1 and Level 4. The parenting room contains a table, chairs, lounge chairs and computer for student use. Parents can use the Level 4 kitchenette at all times to access facilities such as a sink, fridge, microwave and hydroboil.
*Appropriate Facilities are being developed at the USQ Fraser Coast Campus.
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Vice-Chancellor or Chief Operating Officer
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