Policy and Procedures
DCU Mothers' Rest Room Policies
1.0 Breastfeeding Policy
DCU recognises the importance and benefits of breastfeeding, and understands that many women will return to work or study while they continue to breastfeed. The University is therefore committed to providing mothers who are staff members with flexibility to take breaks (lactation breaks) during their workday for the purpose of expressing and storing breast milk. This policy seeks to accommodate the needs of employees within the context of the needs of the University and individual work units. The University also supports students who continue to breastfeed following the resumption of their studies and the lactation facility noted below is available to such students.
1.1 Lactation Breaks (DCU Staff)
In accordance with the Maternity Protection (Amendment) Act 2004, from the time the mother returns to work following her maternity leave up until the child is 6 months old, lactation breaks will be provided without loss of pay in one of the following manners, in agreement with her manager:
- One break of one hour
- Two 30 minute breaks or
- Three 20-minute breaks, which is equal to one hour per day.
DCU also recognises that some mothers may wish to continue to breastfeed beyond the statutory 6 month period. Arrangements to continue to avail of lactation breaks beyond the child's first 6 months are subject to local management agreement.
1.2 Lactation Facilities (DCU Staff and Students)
DCU supports breastfeeding mothers by providing room XG-38 (Ground floor X Block) as a private, comfortable 'Mothers' Rest Room' for them to express and store breast milk for their babies. The room includes cleansing and refrigerated storage facilities. The Mothers' Rest Room is locked at all times and may be accessed by a swipe card issued by the Health & Safety Office. Staff or students requiring access to the room must contact the Health & Safety Office (x8896) and complete the confidential web based Pregnancy Risk Assessment Form.
Swipe cards issued to an individual for long-term use may be retained until access to the room is no longer necessary.
2.0 Pregnant Employees' Rest Facility
DCU recognises that staff members who are pregnant may occasionally suffer from fatigue related to their pregnancy and may wish to rest for a short period during their day. The Mothers' Rest Room (XG-38) is available to such staff members who wish to access rest facilities on campus. This room may be accessed by a swipe card issued by the Health & Safety Office. Staff requiring access to the room must notify their manager and contact the Health & Safety Office (x8896). They must complete the confidential web based Pregnancy Risk Assessment Form.
Pregnant Staff who access the room must notify their manager on each occasion prior to use and must similarly notify their return to their normal work. Swipe cards issued to an individual for use during pregnancy may be retained until the commencement of maternity leave.
It is noted that the Mothers' Rest Room is a stand-alone rest room and not a medical facility. It is not therefore designed to accommodate or support pregnant staff who may be unwell at work. Such staff are required to contact their medical advisor to seek advice and instructions regarding their particular condition.
3.0 Coordination of the Mothers' Rest Room
Staff members and students using the Mothers' Rest Room are required to respect the privacy and security of the room and of those who use it. Individuals are expected to respectfully coordinate their use with other mothers using the room. Individuals are also required to log their use of the room in the record book provided. Each user is expected to ensure the room is clean and locked as they depart.