On returning to work | Health and Safety

You must first notify your employer in writing that you are breastfeeding. Your employer must consider any risk to you or your baby identified by the workplace risk assessment and take reasonable action to remove or reduce them.

Your employer must:

  • First consider whether it is possible to remove the risk by, for example, altering your working conditions or hours of work.
  • Second, if this does not remove the risk, offer you suitable alternative work.
  • Third, if there is no suitable alternative work, suspend you on full pay.

Risks for breastfeeding mothers include, working with organic mercury, radioactive material and exposure to lead. If you are concerned you can contact the Health and Safety Executive. 

No, there is no legal right to time off to breastfeed or for rest periods. However, a refusal to adapt working hours could be indirect sex discrimination unless the employer can show the refusal is justified by the needs of the business.

Yes, your employer should provide suitable facilities for breastfeeding mothers to rest. //www.hse.gov.uk/mothers/faqs.htm

Last updated: 12 May 2016