A new parenting room for mums and bubs has recently been completed in the Armidale Regional Council workplace.
Returning to work after a period of maternity leave has been made easier with a dedicated breastfeeding space and a new management policy that helps mums to breastfeed and or express breast milk in a safe and supportive environment.
The parenting room provides a comfortable and private space to breastfeed or express milk - and it is only the beginning.
Armidale Regional Council general manager James Roncon said it was important that council provide a safe, equitable transition back into the workplace for staff returning after maternity leave.
"Armidale Regional Council is on a significant culture change journey across every facet of our business," said Mr Roncon
"Developing the women in our organisation to grow into senior roles is a key component of that journey and welcoming our new (or old) mums back into the workplace and providing the flexibility of a seamless transition to work is key critical in establishing Armidale Regional Council as a workplace people want to be part of."
The new management policy seeks to set guidelines and expectations for Armidale Regional Council and the returning staff member to follow when seeking to breastfeed in the workplace.
Mr Roncon said the policy provides suitable and reasonable workplace facilities for women who choose to express breast milk or breastfeed their child; paid lactation breaks during work hours; supporting access to flexible work options;
Ensuring employee awareness of breastfeeding policies and facilities was also important Mr Roncon said and council would seek to eliminate any unlawful direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of breastfeeding.
"Women who choose to breastfeed should be supported in that choice and treated with respect and dignity," Mr Roncon said.
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