On August 24, the Parliament finally passed Law 19,530, which approves and regulates the installation of Breastfeeding Rooms (hereinafter, the Wards) in Public Organizations and public and private companies.
For this purpose, it establishes a series of requirements to be complied when implementing the aforementioned Wards in their premises.
The purpose of this regulation is to guarantee the right of every woman to breastfeed or to extract milk in suitable conditions of hygiene and privacy, during her period of lactation, once she returns to her work or educational institution.
The regulation begins by giving a definition about Maternal Breastfeeding Wards, understanding as such the "exclusive and conditioned area for this purpose, in order for women to breastfeed their children, perform milk extraction, as well as preserve and storage it properly".
In this sense, the obligated must create private and conditioned spaces so that women who work there can either breastfeed their children, or extract milk and store and keep it in proper conditions until the end of their work schedule.
Those required to install the Wards are Public Organizations and public and private companies in which twenty or more women work or study, or which have fifty or more employees in total.
Regarding the conditions of the Wards, it is provided that they must guarantee privacy, safety, and availability of use, comfort, hygiene and easy access for those who use them to ensure adequate breastfeeding, as well as the extraction and preservation of breast milk.
Likewise, Law 19.530 establishes that in those cases in which public and private organizations and other institutions do not possess the number of employees and students required for the installation of the Wards -that is, twenty or more women, or otherwise, fifty or more employees in total-, but have at least one woman in breastfeeding period, must ensure the mechanisms that guarantee the use of a space intended to breastfeed, extraction, storage and preservation of breast milk.
On the other hand, it is compulsory to notify the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of the corresponding physical space, for the purposes of controls and inspections determined by the current regulation.
Finally, the provision in question establishes a term for the purposes of which the obliged have their Wards installed, as well as the corresponding sanctions in case they do not comply with Law 19.530.
In this sense, it establishes that Breastfeeding Wards must be installed within a period of no more than nine months counted from the entry into force of this law. That means that those who are obliged must install the aforementioned wards before May, 2018.
Regarding the sanctions, it is determined that non-compliance with Law 19.350 will be subject to economic sanctions by the Ministry of Public Health or the Ministry of Labor and Social Security as appropriate, according to the regulations that will be issued.
We are at your disposal for any clarification.
Montevideo, September 2017