Wednesday, 2 March 2022
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
142. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if he will provide details of the legislative proposals to be introduced to provide for an extension of current entitlements for paid breastfeeding and lactation breaks for mothers under the Maternity Protection (Amendment) Act 2004; if he will provide a timeline of these proposals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12007/22]
I intend to bring forward legislative proposals in the coming weeks to to extend the current entitlement to paid breastfeeding/lactation breaks for breastfeeding mothers in the workforce from 26 to 104 weeks under the Maternity Protection (Amendment) Acts in line with commitments in FIRST 5: A Whole-of-Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families and the National Strategy for Women and Girls.
The extension of breastfeeding breaks is an important support for mothers returning to the workforce after the birth of their child, and will facilitate the combination of breastfeeding and working in line with the WHO recommendation to continue breastfeeding, in combination with suitably nutritious and safe complementary foods, until children are two years old.