Breast Feeding During Office Hours Ministerial Regulation

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Breast Feeding During Office Hours and at the Office -Joint Ministerial Regulation

Issue 1004, 9/1/2009

In order to increase the numbers of mothers breast feeding their children,the Minister of Health and the Minister Labor and Transmigration along with the State Minister of Women's Empowerment have issued a joint ministerial regulation that sets out provisions relating to breast feeding during office hours and at the office.
The joint regulation states that every mother has an obligation to provide breast milk to their children. This obligation is characterized as being crucial to the physical, mental, spiritual, and intellectual development of the child. This obligation also states that there is a period where children are to be breast fed exclusively. Aside from any physical limitations that mothers
might encounter in fulfilling this obligation, it was clear to the relevant Ministers that working women had much less opportunity to fulfill this obligation, as many employers did not look favorably on women bringing their children to the office let alone breast feeding those children once they were there.
Each of the three Ministers has specific duties under the joint ministerial regulation. For example, the Minister of Women's Empowerment is tasked with socializing and providing knowledge to mothers regarding the benefits of breast feeding. The Minister of Labor and Transmigration, for example, is tasked with working with employers and employee representatives to put into place guidelines and agreements to regulate how breast feeding
women are to be provided with the requisite space to fulfill their breastfeeding obligations. The Minister of Health is tasked with putting into place training programs for new mothers in the methods of breast feeding. For employers and employees the impact of this joint regulation is
potentially significant. The significance is that the joint regulation mandates that employers must provide space for mothers to fulfill their breast feeding obligations. Therefore, employers are likely to incur some costs in making this time and space available to new mothers. For employees, the significance is that their place of employment is likely to become more family friendly. Furthermore, this could provide an opportunity to employees to lobby employers for more family friendly office space and perhaps even in-house child care facilities.
The Regulation has been in force since 22 December 2008.Breast Feeding During Office Hours and at the Office -Joint Ministerial Regulation

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