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National Breastfeeding Consultative Meeting Legal framework for promoting and protecting breastfeeding in the workplace by: Ms Thulani Ntshani NDOH 22-23.

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Presentation on theme: "National Breastfeeding Consultative Meeting Legal framework for promoting and protecting breastfeeding in the workplace by: Ms Thulani Ntshani NDOH 22-23."— Presentation transcript:

1 National Breastfeeding Consultative Meeting Legal framework for promoting and protecting breastfeeding in the workplace by: Ms Thulani Ntshani NDOH August 2011

2 STRUCTURE OF PRESENTATION Introduction Available legal framework Obstacles and challenges Intervention strategies Conclusion

3 INTRODUCTION There are set of prescripts Internationally and Nationally addressing support for pregnant and breastfeeding women Employers in the public and private sector have a role to play to ensure that needs of these women are met so that they can be productive The following legal frameworks are applicable:

4 MATERNITY PROTECTION Convention 183 and recommendation 191 of 2000

5 MATERNITY PROTECTION AS SET BY ILO AIMS OF THE MARTENITY PROTECTION To safeguard the health of a mother and child. To safeguard a woman’s job, guaranteeing her the possibility to earn an income after child birth and to thus provide for herself and her child.

6 KEY ELEMENTS OF MATERNITY PROTECTION Scope Scope: Who is covered? Leave Leave: Period of absence from job Benefits Benefits: Medical care during pregnancy namely, confinement and recovery plus income replacement during leave. Health protection Health protection: Protection for women and babies from hazards in the work place.

7 KEY ELEMENTS OF MATERNITY PROTECTION CONT.. Job protection and non discrimination Job protection and non discrimination: Holding a woman’s job or a job at the same level to which she can return after leave: - forbidding discrimination on the grounds of maternity. Breast feeding breaks Breast feeding breaks: Time provided for breastfeeding or expressing milk during the work day. Breastfeeding facility: Breastfeeding facility: A place where a worker can feed her baby or express her milk.

8 CONSTITUTION OF RSA Bill of rights Section 12 (2) Freedom and security of the person Everyone has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right ­ (a) to make decisions concerning reproduction Section 27 (1). Health care, food, water and social security Everyone has the right to have access to ­ (a) health care services, including reproductive health care;

9 LABOUR RELATIONS ACT 66 OF 1995 Section 187 (1) (e) Automatically Unfair Dismissal if a person is dismissed due to pregnancy or intended pregnancy or any reason related to her pregnancy (1) (f) Automatically Unfair Dismissal if unfairly discriminated against on grounds of pregnancy

10 EMPLOYMENT EQUITY ACT OF 1998 Section 6 – No person may be discriminated against or dismissed on account of pregnancy

11 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT 85 OF 1993 AND MINE HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT 27 OF 1996 Employers are required to provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of employees

12 BASIC CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT ACT 75 OF 1997 Section 26 (1) Prohibits employers from requiring and permitting pregnant and breastfeeding employees to perform work that is hazardous to their health and that of their children Employers are required to assess and control risks to the health of pregnant or breastfeeding employees and that of their children or foetus

13 BASIC CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT ACT CONT…. Section 26(2)An employer must offer suitable or alternative employment to an employee during pregnancy if her work poses a danger to her health or safety or that of her child or if the employee is engaged in night work (between 18:00 to 06:00) unless it is not practical to do so

14 OBSTACLES AND CHALLEGES Maternity leave is only available to formally employed women Many workplaces especially small companies and non formal settings where most women work, lack child care facilities or feeding breaks Infant food companies targeting employed women by promoting their products as the only solution available to working mothers

15 ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT FOR BREASTFEEDING IN THE WORKPLACE Time support Commitment Space/ proximity

16 WORKPLACE INTERVENTIONS FOR PREGNANT AND BREASTFEEDING EMPLOYEES Policies Workplace policies should: - ensure respect and support to mothers in the workplace - encourage employees to inform their employers about their pregnancy as early as possible -Require employers to identify and assess risks and put preventative measures in place to protect pregnant and breastfeeding employees

17 WORKPLACE INTERVENTIONS FOR PREGNANT AND BREASTFEEDING EMPLOYEES cont… -encourage employees to attend antenatal and postnatal clinics -encourage employees to breastfeed and make provision of facilities for extraction of milk and storage -Recognize and respect cultural differences and ethnic practices of all employees in terms of breastfeeding

18 WORKPLACE INTERVENTIONS FOR PREGNANT AND BREASTFEEDING EMPLOYEES cont… Call for collective action: A minimum 4 months paid maternity leave A minimum of 2 half-hour paid breastfeeding breaks daily A clean space or corner for breastfeeding A crèche for babies and toddlers

19 WORKPLACE INTERVENTIONS FOR PREGNANT AND BREASTFEEDING EMPLOYEES cont… Education Health education in the workplace should be inclusive of pregnancy and breastfeeding (UIF) Employees to be taught about their rights and available provisions during pregnancy (UIF) Retention strategy The retention strategy should include return to work, accommodation and support for employees who were on maternity leaveMonitoring Employers must conduct risk assessment for pregnant and breastfeeding employees under regular review

20 CONCLUSION The number of women in paid work is continuously increasing which implies that employers should support pregnant and breastfeeding to ensure child survival increased productivity and bottom-line or enhanced service delivery Support for breastfeeding employees will decrease absenteeism as babies who are breastfed are have fewer episodes of illnesses Will enhance the image of the company as mothers will be happier because they will be able to balance work and family responsibilities and also they will be less likely to resign

21 THANK YOU NA NKHENSA


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