Breastfeeding in the Workplace and The Law
MATERNITY PROTECTION (PROTECTION OF MOTHERS WHO ARE
BREASTFEEDING) REGULATIONS 2004.
S.I. No. 654 of 2004 .
MATERNITY PROTECTION (PROTECTION OF MOTHERS WHO ARE BREASTFEEDING)
I, MICHAEL McDOWELL, T.D., Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 15B (inserted by section 9 of the Maternity Protection (Amendment) Act 2004 (No. 28 of 2004)) of the Maternity Protection Act 1994 (No. 34 of 1994) and the Equality and Law Reform (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order ( S.I. No. 297 of 1997 ) (as adapted by the Justice (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 1997 ( S.I. No. 298 of 1997 )), hereby make the following regulations:
1. (1) These Regulations may be cited as the Maternity Protection (Protection of Mothers who are Breastfeeding) Regulations 2004.
(2) These Regulations shall come into operation on 18 October 2004.
2. In these Regulations—
“employee who is breastfeeding” means at any time an employee whose date of confinement was not more than twenty-six weeks earlier, who is breastfeeding and who has informed her employer of her condition;
“part-time employee” has the meaning assigned to it by section 7 of the Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act 2001 ( No. 45 of 2001 );
“Principal Act” means Maternity Protection Act 1994 ( No. 34 of 1994 ).
3. (1) An employee who is breastfeeding and to whom subsection (1)(a) of section 15B of the Principal Act applies shall be entitled, without loss of pay, to take 1 hour off from her work each working day as a breastfeeding break which may be taken—
(a) in the form of—
(i) one break of 60 minutes,
(ii) two breaks of 30 minutes each,
(iii) three breaks of 20 minutes each, or
(b) in such other manner as to number and duration of breaks as may be agreed by her and her employer.
(2) An employee who is breastfeeding and to whom subsection (1)(b) of section 15B of the Principal Act applies shall be entitled, without loss of pay, to have her working hours reduced by 1 hour each working day and that reduction may comprise one period of 60 minutes, two periods of 30 minutes each, 3 periods of 20 minutes each or such other periods as may be agreed by her and her employer.
4. Time off from work, or a reduction in working hours, for breastfeeding in accordance with subsections (1)(a) and (1)(b) respectively of section 15B of the Principal Act and these Regulations shall be calculated on a pro rate basis for a part-time employee who is breastfeeding.
5. When an employee who is breastfeeding proposes to exercise her entitlement to time off from work or a reduction of working hours under subsection (1)(a) or (1)(b), as the case may be, of section 15B of the Principal Act, she shall—
(a) notify her employer in writing of the proposal as soon as reasonably practicable but not later than the latest date specified in subsection (1), (1A) or (1B), as may be appropriate, of section 28 of the Principal Act for her to notify her employer under that section of her intention to return to work and of the date on which she expects to return to work, and
(b) furnish, if so requested by her employer, the birth certificate of the child concerned or any other document establishing the date of birth of the child.
GIVEN under my Official Seal, this 7th day of October, 2004.
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform.
(This note is not part of the Instrument and does not purport to be a legal interpretation.)
These Regulations set out the details of the general entitlement of employees to either time off work without loss of pay to breastfeed in the workplace or a reduction in working hours for the purpose of breastfeeding outside the workplace under section 9 of the Maternity Protection (Amendment) Act 2004 .
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