HM Courts & Tribunals Service has issued guidance on breastfeeding after a barrister was reportedly told she had to pay £150 for a private room to express milk.
In guidance entitled 'Breastfeeding while in a court or tribunal building', HMCTS says mothers can breastfeed and express milk in the building. Public areas are 'breastfeeding and expressing friendly' and access will be provided to a room for privacy.
'We will not discriminate against you if you are breastfeeding,' HMCTS states. However, mothers who want a private room to breastfeed or express 'may find it helpful to get in touch with us before you arrive. Some of our buildings have specially designated rooms'.
The guidance was issued a month after an employment law specialist tweeted: 'Barrister who is still breastfeeding agreed to do a short hearing in the Rolls Building today - told she had to pay £150 for a private room so she could express!!!!' A couple of hours later HMCTS chief executive Susan Acland-Hood replied: 'Please can the person this happened to get in touch with me? This shouldn't have happened and I will make sure we investigate and it doesn't happen again.'
Section 25 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 state that suitable facilities must be provided for pregnant women or nursing mothers to rest. Under the Equality Act 2010, businesses are obliged to ensure women can breastfeed without being treated unfairly.