Kenya: Proposed law to require employers & owners of commercial buildings to provide lactation rooms

Author: John Mutua, Business Daily (Kenya), Published on: 11 November 2019

"Employers face Sh1m fine on failure to offer breastfeeding rooms"

Employers and commercial building owners face a fine of up to Sh1 million for failure to allocate breastfeeding spaces under a proposed law which seeks to give infants a two-year protection. The Breastfeeding Mothers Bill of 2019 tabled in the National Assembly makes it compulsory for all persons who own, lease or rent buildings holding at least 50 people to provide a lactation room. The room, according to the bill should be “a clean, private facility with a baby changing table, waste bucket and a sign indicating its location.” The bill...also bars employers from discriminating women based on pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding in accessing employment opportunities and benefits.

Currently, only a handful of private and public organisations have lactation rooms with most breastfeeding mothers returning to work after three-month maternity leave being forced to express milk for their infants in cars, washrooms or empty boardrooms...A report by lobby, Kenya Private Sector Alliance early this year showed that only 37 companies have lactation rooms underlining the dire situation.

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