In line with Government policy, breastfeeding employees of my Department are entitled to paid breaks of one hour per day from work, or a reduction of one hour per day working time, to facilitate breastfeeding or lactation (Circular 31/06 Implementation of the Regulations of the Maternity Protection (Amendment) Act 2004). At present, breastfeeding or lactation breaks may continue until the child is two years of age. This hour can be broken into two 30 minute breaks or three 20 minute breaks if desired. Paid breaks from work or a reduction in working hours are calculated on a pro rata basis for staff members who are working a reduced work pattern.
I also wish to advise the Deputy that my Department has one room in its offices in both St. Stephen’s Green House and in Tullamore where dedicated space is provided for breastfeeding and / or expressing breast milk. My Department does not provide such dedicated spaces in its other office locations.