November 29, 2010

Companies to provide breastfeeding facilities

by Jan Harris

The government is planning to introduce rules to make the workplace ‘new mother friendly’, which could mean companies having to provide areas for nursing mothers to breastfeed and fridges to store breast milk.

The timing of the initiative, coming soon after the government’s comprehensive spending review, has led to criticism that the move will put businesses already struggling with the austerity drive under even more pressure.

It also seems an ill-considered move considering that part of the Conservative Party’s election manifesto was the promise to cut red tape for small businesses.

The measures, which are outlined in a White Paper, also include proposals for employees to be flexible over when women take breaks.

The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that the cost of providing these facilities could lead to more job cuts and could even deter some businesses from recruiting young women.

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