View Current

Feeding Infants and Young Children Policy and Procedure

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this policy to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Preamble

(1) Charles Darwin University (‘CDU’, ‘the University’) is committed to providing suitable, supportive and safe spaces that assist employees and students with family and caring responsibilities. 

(2) The University supports a person’s need for privacy and comfort whilst producing or providing nutrition for a child when working, studying or visiting the University’s premises. 

(3) The University also supports the right of parents and carers to provide nutrition for a child in public places and acknowledges it is unlawful to discriminate on the basis that a person is doing so.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Purpose

(4) This policy and procedure outlines the conditions, provisions and facilities for accommodating employees and students to feed infants and young children whilst on campus.

(5) This document also outlines the process for employees and students to request flexibility to their work and/or study schedule in order to feed infants and young children.

(6) This document should be read in conjunction with the Children on University Premises Policy.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Scope

(7) This policy and procedure applies to all employees and students of the University. It also applies to visitors on University premises who wish to utilise identified facilities.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Policy

(8) To ensure the safety of the University community, parents and carers bringing children on campus must adhere to the Children on University Premises Policy and other relevant health and safety policies and procedures.

(9) As individual needs of the parent, carer and child will vary, the University is committed to offering flexible arrangements that will meet and balance the needs of the parent or carer as well as operational requirements.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Procedure

Parent room locations

(10) Parents and carers may choose to feed infants and young children in identified Parent/Carer rooms available on some CDU campuses.

(11) The identified rooms available on CDU campuses, including their facilities and opening hours are as follows:

Campus Building Room Number Facilities Accessibility
Casuarina Blue 1 1.87 Arm chair, foot rest, table, sink, change table, fridge, microwave, bin. Building accessible between the hours of 8:00 – 4:21.
Casuarina Blue 5 1.121 Arm chair, foot rest, table, change table, fridge, microwave, bin. Building accessible between the hours of 8:00 – 4:21.
Casuarina Orange 2 1.42 Arm chair, foot rest, table, sink, change table, fridge, microwave, bin. Access by swipe card only.

(12) Parents and carers may choose to feed infants and young children in other locations on campus or where they do not have access to a dedicated Parent/Carer room. In these instances, the University will make reasonable effort to provide comfortable and suitable facilities including:

  1. a clean, secure and private area (not a toilet) with a comfortable chair or lounge;
  2. a clean refrigerator or freezer for the purpose of storing expressed breastmilk/formula or other required sustenance.
  3. secure storage for an electric or manual breast pump or any other equipment that is required;
  4. a power point for electric milk pumps; and
  5. a wash basin and soap to wash hands and pump parts, and paper towels or a hand dryer.

Paid breaks for employees

(13) In accordance with the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022, an employee on return to work from parental leave will be entitled to paid breaks to feed their infant or young child, and access to a clean private space to do so. 

(14) The University recognises that individual needs of a parent, carer and child will vary, and is committed to offering flexible arrangements that will meet these needs, in accordance with the Flexible Work Arrangement Policy.

Implementing support arrangements

Employees

(15) Employees should discuss with their supervisor with as much notice as possible (ideally prior to returning to work) regarding accommodations required to support their returning to work whilst still feeding their infant or young child.

(16) All agreed accommodations, including a proposed schedule of breaks, should be documented in writing to provide assurances to both the employee and supervisor. Flexibility within this schedule is required, due to the unpredictable nature of and possible changes to an infant or young childs feeding routine.

(17) Employees should discuss with their supervisor as soon as practicable of any changes to the agreed accommodations or where accommodations are no longer required.

Support to accommodate arrangements

(18) If there are concerns or queries when negotiating arrangements, supervisors must initially contact their relevant People Partner within People and Culture. 

(19) Specialist advice may also be sought from the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant within People and Culture.

Students 

(20) Students who may require a specific adjustment to their study arrangements in order to feed their infant or child should discuss their needs with their lecturer and/or Unit Coordinator as soon as practicable.  

(21) Access and Inclusion may be contacted for further advice and support regarding requests for reasonable adjustments.

Roles and responsibilities

(22) All employees and students have a responsibility to treat people who feed infants and young children with respect and dignity and to enable and advocate for reasonable adjustments whenever possible without unfavourable treatment.

Employees, students and visitors

(23) Employees, students and visitors are responsible for:

  1. discussing requests for accommodations as soon as practicable;
  2. supplying their own equipment and storage where appropriate; and
  3. ensuring that children on campus are always accompanied by an adult in accordance with the Children on University Premises Policy.

Supervisors and managers

(24) Supervisors and managers are responsible for:

  1. ensuring employees accessing parental leave are aware of this document; and
  2. supporting workplace flexibility to accommodate the individual requirements of employees returning from parental leave.

Lecturers and unit coordinators 

(25) Lecturers and Unit Coordinators are responsible for:

  1. considering a student’s request for flexibility to support and accommodate their continued feeding journey; and
  2. contacting Access and Inclusion for further information and advice regarding requests for adjustments as required.

People and Culture

(26) People and Culture are responsible for:

  1. promoting this policy and procedure, including flexibility options provided through the Enterprise Agreement and Flexible Work Arrangement Policy
  2. providing advice to supervisors and employees regarding accommodations to feed infants and young children, and any issues associated with implementing accommodations; and
  3. monitoring identified parent/care rooms to ensure they are maintained at an acceptable standard in conjunction with Property and Facilities Management.

Access and Inclusion

(27) Access and Inclusion are responsible for providing students with advice on requests for adjustments.

External Support Services

(28) There are a number of external services available to provide support and advice:

  1. Australian Breastfeeding Association
  2. Raising Children
  3. Australian Government Department of Social Services – Parenting Support
Top of Page

Section 6 - Non-Compliance

(29) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct - Employees or the Code of Conduct - Students, as applicable, and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures outlined in the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022 and the Code of Conduct - Students.

(30) Complaints may be raised in accordance with the Complaints and Grievance Policy and Procedure - Employees and Complaints Policy - Students.

(31) All staff members have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.