Breastfeeding Provisions 2020

Guidance note 13a to the EMPLOYMENT (JERSEY) LAW 2003 incorporating Employment (Amendment No. 11 (Jersey) Law 2020

Parental Rights 

This short statement is intended to explain to employers and employees their rights in respect of Pregnancy and Breastfeeding rights which are set out in Part 3B of the Employment Law.  It is not intended to cover the requirements of the Law, nor does it represent a statement of the Law. It constitutes a guide only and detailed legal advice should be taken in relation to each individual situation. 

Guidance note 13 covers rights in respect of Parental Leave

The aim of the Law is to:

Provide the statutory entitlement for employees:

  1. to take leave for periods where issues around Health and Safety arise;
  2. to request a temporary variation of terms of employment for the purpose of breastfeeding

Entitlement to leave during pregnancy or breastfeeding (Art 15G)

Applies to any employee (including those on zero hour contracts) who has notified her employer in writing that she is pregnant, given birth within the last 6 months or is breastfeeding.

An employee that falls into any of the above categories is entitled to any period of leave during which it is not reasonably practicable for:

  • the employee (following a Health and Safety risk assessment) to fulfil her normal duties of her employment; and
  • the employer to allocate the employee to other duties, alter her duties or make the appropriate changes to the work environment to enable the employee to continue working.

Such a period of leave shall be paid at the rate set out in Schedule 1 of the legislation and does not affect the right of the employee to payment under her employment contract.

The employer does not have to grant leave under this Article if:

  • the employee has notified the employer she is pregnant but within a reasonable time failed to produce a certificate of her pregnancy from:
    1. a registered medical practitioner,
    2. a registered midwife, or
    3. a registered nurse.
  • where the employer knows (or cannot establish) that the employee is not, or is no longer, a new or expectant mother.
  • the employee has unreasonably refused to accept suitable alternative employment at the same rate of pay as her existing employment.
  • When the employee’s employment ends as per the terms of employment.

Entitlement to request temporary variation to terms of employment for the purpose of breastfeeding (Art 15H).

An employee who is breastfeeding is entitled to request a temporary variation to her terms of employment for the sole purpose of enabling her to breast feed, if the variation relates to:

  • The hours during which the employee is required to work;
  • The times the employee is required to work;
  • The place where the employee is required to work.

When making the request the employee must state:

  • The purpose of the variation; and
  • what the variation being requested is and the period of time it would be in place for.

Any request made under this Article does not affect an employee’s right to request flexible working as set out in Article 15A (see Guidance Note 15).

Employer’s duties and employee’s rights in relation to variation under Art 15H and Art 15J (Art 15I)

See the JACS flowchart in respect of this Article.

Employer’s duty to provide facilities for breastfeeding (Art 15K)

This Article applies to any employee who:

  • continues to breastfeed, following her return to work; and
  • gives notice to her employer that she requires facilities to be provided in the workplace for that purpose.

The employer must take all reasonable steps to provide facilities within the workplace for breastfeeding, such reasonable steps to be considered are:

  • the extent to which any steps are, or would be if taken effective to provide suitable facilities;
  • the extent to which any steps are, or would be if taken practical;
  • the cost of any steps which could be taken;
  • the financial, administrative and other resources available to the employer.

See JACS guide to Breastfeeding in the Workplace.

Further advice or information may be obtained from the Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service in person or by telephoning (01534) 730503 or by email;


June 2023


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