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Breastfeeding on Campus Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope


(1) This Procedure provides guidance to members of the UQ Community who wish to breastfeed and/or express milk on The University of Queensland (UQ or the University) Campuses and Sites.


(2) This Procedure applies to members of the UQ Community engaged in UQ Related Conduct.

(3) For the purposes of this Procedure, breastfeeding encompasses breastfeeding and related activities, such as expressing milk.

(4) This Procedure should be read and applied in conjunction with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Behaviours Policy.


(5) UQ is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive environment that enables members of the UQ Community to breastfeed and undertake activities related to breastfeeding while at UQ Campuses and Sites and/or engaged in UQ Related Conduct. 

(6) UQ acknowledges the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld) which protects the lawful right to breastfeed in public places and provides protections against discrimination on the basis of breastfeeding. 

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Section 2 - Process and Key Controls

(7) Supervisors and Course Coordinators are required to:

  1. make reasonable efforts to accommodate breastfeeding activities, including reasonably providing the flexibility needed by those wishing to breastfeed or undertake activities relating to breastfeeding;
  2. ensure reasonable access to dedicated breastfeeding and milk storage facilities wherever possible; and
  3. facilitate arrangements to allow breastfeeding to be conducted in accordance with relevant University policies and procedures, such as the Children on Campus Procedure, as well as other relevant work health and safety policies and procedures.

(8) Examples of accommodations to support breastfeeding may include (but are not limited to):

  1. work/study arrangements and schedules that provide lactation breaks to support breastfeeding (either expressing milk and/or breastfeeding a child at a suitable location, including on-campus childcare facilities);
  2. flexible working arrangements;
  3. allowing lunch and other scheduled breaks to coincide with feeding routines; and/or
  4. provision of a dedicated area to support breastfeeding, if no suitable facility is nearby.
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Section 3 - Key Requirements

Bringing Children into Places of Work and Study

(9) Parents and carers must accord with the Children on Campus Procedure, other relevant work health and safety policies and procedures and local safety guidelines.

Breastfeeding Locations

(10) Members of the UQ Community have access to a range of purpose-built rooms across UQ Campuses and Sites which support breastfeeding. 

(11) Breastfeeding room locations can be located through the UQ Navigation application, campus maps and campus signposts. 

(12) Parents and carers may choose to breastfeed and/or express milk at other places across UQ, depending on their circumstances and proximity to dedicated breastfeeding facilities.

(13) For parents and carers who do not have access to dedicated breastfeeding facilities (for example, remote research sites), supervisors should make reasonable efforts to provide, at a minimum:

  1. a private space with a chair, hand washing facilities and/or sink, power access for electronic milk pumps; and
  2. a dedicated refrigerator space or cool-box for storing milk.

Process for Implementing Breastfeeding Accommodations (Staff)

(14) Staff should provide supervisors with as much notice as possible regarding accommodations required to support breastfeeding activities. 

(15) Any agreed accommodations should be documented in writing, to provide assurances for both staff and supervisors regarding agreed accommodations. Supervisors should communicate with other staff or teams, if their contribution is required to facilitate accommodations.

Lactation Breaks

(16) UQ supports staff taking lactation breaks during working hours. Lactation breaks should be scheduled to coincide with other routine breaks wherever possible.

(17) A proposed schedule of lactation breaks should be agreed between the staff member and their supervisor – however, flexibility within that schedule is encouraged, due to the unpredictable nature of breastfeeding and possible changes to a child’s feeding routine.

Flexible Working Arrangements to Support Breastfeeding/Expressing

(18) UQ offers a range of flexible working arrangements which may assist with breastfeeding and/or other feeding activities, including:

  1. flexible working hours;
  2. telecommuting (working from home);
  3. purchased leave;
  4. part-time hours;
  5. variable hours of work.

(19) Where accommodations entail formal flexible working arrangements, staff are required to submit an application in accordance with the Flexible Work Policy and Procedure.

Inability to Accommodate Breastfeeding

(20) Where supervisors are unable to readily make accommodations to support breastfeeding, they are encouraged to:

  1. engage with Human Resources Division to discuss the request and reasons why requested accommodations cannot be implemented;
  2. identify possible alternatives to accommodate the request (including for more complex requests); and/or
  3. seek advice from specialists within UQ, including Workplace Diversity and Inclusion, Workplace Relations and/or Health, Safety and Wellness Division staff.

(21) Supervisors who are unable to support a request to accommodate breastfeeding are to provide written advice outlining:

  1. reasons why the request cannot be accommodated;
  2. alternative options for accommodating the request; and/or
  3. options for additional advice and support regarding the request.

(22) Staff who have a request for accommodation denied are encouraged to seek additional advice and support from local Human Resources Division staff and/or Workplace Diversity and Inclusion, Workplace Relations and/or Health, Safety and Wellness Division staff.

Process for Negotiating Breastfeeding Accommodations (Students)

(23) Students should, with as much notice as possible, contact Student Services to request a Student Access Plan, on the basis of breastfeeding. 

Discrimination Related to Breastfeeding

(24) Staff and Students who feel that they have experienced discrimination on the basis of breastfeeding or expressing can seek support and/or lodge a complaint in accordance with the Prevention of Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Behaviours Procedure

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Section 4 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Human Resources Division

(25) The Human Resources Division are responsible for providing advice to supervisors and Staff regarding breastfeeding accommodations and any issues associated with implementing breastfeeding accommodations. 

Student Services

(26) Student Services are responsible for providing advice to Students and Course Coordinators regarding breastfeeding accommodations, and managing any issues pertaining to breastfeeding, and processing requests for Student Access Plans.

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Section 5 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(27) Human Resources Division, Student Affairs Division and Academic Services Division Staff will review the relevance and currency of this Procedure periodically and update changes as required.

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Section 6 - Recording and Reporting

(28) Non-compliance with this Procedure should be reported to the relevant area as appropriate to the situation.

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Section 7 - Appendix


Term Definition
Affiliates Academic title-holders, visiting academics, emeritus professors, adjunct and honorary title-holders, industry fellows, and conjoint appointments.
Staff Continuing, fixed-term, research (contingent funded) and casual staff members.
Student A person enrolled as a student at the University or undertaking courses or programs at the University.
UQ Campus or Site A recognised UQ work-place, work or study environment used/authorised by UQ. This excludes telecommuting arrangements where a UQ Staff member is working from home.
UQ Community Means current UQ Students, Staff (whether or not those Staff are covered by the Enterprise Agreement), Volunteers, Affiliates and anyone else contractually bound to comply with this Procedure. 
UQ Related Conduct
Means any conduct that is connected to UQ’s functions or operations, including conduct that:
 • occurs during, or in connection with, any function, activity or event related to UQ (whether sanctioned by UQ or otherwise);
 • occurs when a person is representing UQ in any capacity;
 • occurs during, or in connection with, the performance of duties for UQ;
 • occurs using, or is facilitated by, UQ ICT resources or other UQ equipment; or
 • occurs on, or in connection with, any property owned, leased or occupied by UQ (or any entities it controls) or any lands or roads within any UQ campus.
Volunteers Members of the community who donate their services in a voluntary capacity to UQ without expectation of remuneration. Volunteers include those undertaking work on fundraising and community-oriented projects, tertiary Students wishing to gain exposure to particular UQ functions, among others.