The University welcomes and actively supports staff and students wishing to manage parenting responsibilities and their employment or study commitments.
The Breastfeeding on Campus statement outlines the services and support offered by the University. The information details the process for ensuring you can breastfeed/express along with other important information.
Facilities at the University of Tasmania
You are welcome to feed your child wherever you feel comfortable on campus. In addition, facilities are available for staff and students who need a private space for feeding purposes.
UTAS currently provides facilities on the Newnham, Inveresk and Hobart campuses. These rooms are available for staff and students and provide parenting facilities. If a room is not available on your campus, please discuss your needs with your Supervisor, Student Advisor, Faculty Officer or People and Wellbeing Business Partner to be found alternative arrangements.
With the exception of the room in Norfolk Hall AMC, from Monday to Friday the rooms are unlocked when not in use. If you need to use the rooms on weekends, please contact campus security on 6226 7600 to request access.
|Newnham, Launceston||Parenting/First Aid Room (AC1), Norfolk Hall, AMC (please ask for the key at the AMC reception desk)|
|Inveresk, Launceston||Parenting Room, Inveresk Library Building|
|Cradle Coast Campus, Burnie||Building A, Room 111|
|Medical Science Precinct, Hobart||Nursing Room, MS1|
|Sandy Bay, Hobart||Studio Theatre (next to the University Centre), Parenting Room, Room 206|
|Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies (IMAS), Hobart||Room 340c, IMAS Building, Salamanca|
|Hunter Street, Hobart||Room 141, Hunter Street|
All facilities can be used by staff and students, except for those marked 'students only' which are administered by the TUSA.
Facilities have within them or close by:
- Hand-basin and/or kitchen sink.
- Feeding chair and table.
- Baby change table.
- Lockable door.
Fridges are located in tea/lunch rooms throughout the campus. Students and staff are welcome to store clearly labelled BREASTMILK in these fridges.
Clearly label milk-file storage containers with your name, phone number and date before placing them in the refrigerator, preferably within a larger storage container.
- Remove any expressed breast milk from fridges prior to leaving the campus at the end of the day.
- Be mindful of milk storage times and conditions. These are available on the Australian Breastfeeding Association website: www.breastfeeding.asn.au
- For questions regarding breastfeeding facilities contact: Christene Sytsma on telephone 03 6324 3198.
- For advice and support regarding negotiating lactating breaks or other support:
- The Australian Breastfeeding Association has trained Breastfeeding Counsellors who are available to assist you with any breastfeeding concerns, and questions about how to combine breastfeeding and returning to work. They can be contacted on the toll-free number 1800 mum 2 mum - 1800 686 268.
What does the legislation say?
In June 2011 amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (SDA) established breastfeeding as a new separate ground for discrimination. Breastfeeding is defined as the act of expressing milk and includes a single act of breastfeeding and breastfeeding over a period of time. Both direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of breastfeeding is prohibited. This prohibition covers various areas including work, education, goods, services and facilities, accommodation, land and clubs. However, any 'special measures' to address the needs of persons to breastfeed (such as a dedicated room in a workplace to feed or express) is not considered discriminatory.
Breastfeeding on Campus Statement
We pride ourselves in being a family friendly workplace and are committed to providing a supportive environment to enable parents to continue to breastfeed.
You are welcome to breastfeed your children wherever they feel comfortable on campus. In addition, facilities are available for staff and students who need a private space to breastfeed/express milk.
Staff who are breastfeeding may seek flexible work arrangements to balance their work and breastfeeding/expressing requirements. We also provide reasonable flexibility for staff to take paid lactation breaks during work hours. This may include flexible start and finish times, time off to express milk or breastfeed at a child care centre or in one of our suitable parenting facilities.
The University provides employees and students the flexibility to take lactation breaks during their day. This flexibility includes (at a minimum):
- time off for an employee or student to express breast milk or to breastfeed as is reasonably required for individual circumstances. This may be on-campus or off-site, including a short period of time to travel or return home for the purpose of feeding;
- flexible start and finishing times;or
- allowing lunch and/or other breaks to coincide with feeding times, if preferred.
- Staff and students can breastfeed anywhere on the university campuses, with the exclusion of the locations noted in the children on campuses guide, which are deemed inherently dangerous and/or hazardous to children.
- For those seeking privacy whilst feeding a child , they are able to access the designated Parenting Rooms provided on campuses as detailed above.
- Rooms are generally open during normal working hours and can be shared or used by mutual agreement with the current user.
Flexible working hours for employees
- Flexible work options can be discussed and agreed between the employee and their supervisor
Flexible Study Options for students
- Breastfeeding/expressing parents and carers who are students can discuss and agree with their course and/or Unit Coordinator (or equivalent) on:
- flexible attendance arrangements; and/or
- access to on-campus teaching activities while breastfeeding / bottle-feeding or when infants are attending lectures.
- The relevant lecturer/supervisor should be contacted in the first instance to discuss and agree suitable arrangements to accommodate the needs of the breastfeeding mother and course requirements.
The University recognises its responsibilities to members of the University community and, accordingly, requires that the presence of child on campus has due regard to workplace health and safety requirements.
If a staff member or student feels they are in a situation where they are experiencing harassment or discrimination because of the need to breastfeed/express, and they are not able to discuss it with their immediate Supervisor/Manager; University Behaviour Contact Officers are available for further guidance and support.