Breastfeeding at work, we tell you everything the law says!

Allaitement en entreprise

In recent years, the subject of breastfeeding has been put on the table again. 

Again? Yes, breastfeeding has been a hot topic for decades. Morals and mentalities have changed, as we see the percentage of women returning to work directly after maternity leave  constantly increasing. 

However, if women decide to breastfeed during the first few months,  returning to work may seem difficult… A pity when you know that maternity leave lasts 16 weeks and that the  OMS recommends a breastfeeding period of 6 months… 

Fortunately, the change in mentality is slowly being accompanied by an evolution of the labor code: it is now possible to breastfeed in the workplace under certain conditions.

What the law says about breastfeeding in the workplace 

First of all, article L1225-31 of the French Labor Code establishes the following general principle: “the mother can always breastfeed her child in the establishment”. And for this, the seats dedicated to breastfeeding must be comfortable and adaptable.

The place chosen must also be separated from any work area, and have a water point nearby. The conditions for  breastfeeding rooms are listed in Article R4152-13

In case of non-compliance with these conditions, the employer is exposed to penal sanctions,  making it possible to talk to the labour inspector in case of a problem.

The law goes even further, with article R4152-13 of the Labor Code, which states that the employer is obliged to install a breastfeeding room in his establishment if his company has more than 100 employees. 

Is it possible to take a break to express milk? 

According to Article L1225-30 of the French Labor Code, any type of company, regardless of the number of employees, allows breastfeeding mothers, for one year from the day of the birth, one hour per day to breastfeed during working hours. 

This hour may be divided, according to article R1225-5, into two 30-minute periods, one during morning work and the other during afternoon work.

Unfortunately, with the exception of certain collective agreements, the breastfeeding break would not be remunerated because it would not be considered as actual working time. 

But things could still be changing … To be continued! 

So if the installation of a breastfeeding space is a matter of law, discover 7 other  reasons to install a space to express milk in your workplace. 

7 tips to set up a breastfeeding space in your company

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