Legislation

Section 69Y Employment Relations (Breaks, Infant Feeding and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2008

The Employment Relations (Breaks, Infant Feeding and other matters) Amendment Act requires employers to provide appropriate facilities and breaks for employees who wish to breastfeed either at the workplace or during a work period, as far as it is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances.

The amendments balance the need to support the choices of employees, particularly regarding their work-life balance and caring responsibilities, with the operational requirements of New Zealand businesses.

The Code of Employment Practice assists employers who want to know how to meet their obligations under the Act. Appropriate facilities, the nature of breaks, accommodating changes to meet circumstances and documenting arrangements are detailed in the Code.

Human Rights Act 1993

Breastfeeding women have the right to breastfeed or express breast milk at work. Employers are required to find ways for employees to do their job and have regular breaks to breastfeed or express milk. Treating a woman unfairly because she is breastfeeding or expressing breast milk is a form of sex discrimination.

More information
Human Rights Commission
Your Rights as a Pregnant Worker (Human Rights Commission)
 

Other relevant legislation

 

Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Act 2002
Eligible parents are entitled to 14 weeks of job/employment protected paid parental leave (PPL) under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Paid Parental Leave) Amendment Act 2002. To be eligible, employees must have worked continuously with the same employer for an average of at least 10 hours a week in the last 6 or 12 months immediately before the baby's birth. Employees who have worked continuously with the same employer for 12 months or more are also entitled to up to 52 weeks of job protected unpaid parental leave (extended leave) less any PPL taken.
 
Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act 2007
The Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act 2007 provides employees who have been with their employer for 6 months or more and have young or dependent children the right to request part-time and flexible hours and the employer has a duty to seriously consider such requests. 
 

International Conventions

International Labour Organisation (ILO)
ILO Convention No. 183 recommends women be entitled to one or more daily breaks or a reduction of hours of work for breastfeeding. Breaks or reduction of working hours shall be counted as working time and remunerated accordingly. The length and numbers of breaks are to be determined by national law or practice (Article 10).

More information
C183 Maternity Protection Convention, 2000, International Labour Organisation