Breastfeeding friendly establishments
If you are breastfeeding your baby when you are out and about, you will probably find that most of the time, nobody even notices. South Gloucestershire Council is committed to making breastfeeding the norm, and aims to create environments that promote, protect and support breastfeeding.
South Gloucestershire Council’s ‘Breastfeeding Friendly Scheme’ is supported by many establishments who have committed to being welcoming to breastfeeding mums and families.
If you are an establishment and would like to sign-up to the scheme, simply get in touch with us via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find breastfeeding friendly establishments in our local directory.
The Breastfeeding Network (BfN) ‘Breastfeeding Friendly Scheme’ is intended to show that an establishment has an interest in supporting breastfeeding families to have a positive experience of breastfeeding out and about. Neither the BfN or the Council takes any responsibility for guaranteeing a specific standard or customer experience in any establishment that has signed up. The venues are not checked or certified in any way by either the BfN or the Council and the Council cannot take responsibility for the facilities or staff in any venue displaying the BfN Breastfeeding Friendly logo.
What can I do if I am discriminated against because I am breastfeeding?
If you have been asked to stop breastfeeding, or to cover up, or you have been refused services while you are out and about, you can inform the Council via email at: email@example.com
Where the Council receives any feedback, the Council will endeavour to pass this on to the relevant establishment. Neither the BfN or the Council can enforce changes, however the Council will suggest a course of action to help and improve the Scheme. The Council reserves the right to remove participating establishments where there is evidence to suggest that the Scheme has been used inappropriately.
You can also make a complaint to the establishment. This includes complaints about how you were treated by other customers as well as members of staff. Ask the establishment if they have a complaints policy, this will tell you who to write to. Alternatively, you can look on their webpage for their complaints policy or find the address of their Head Office. You can make a complaint by email or by sending a letter, outlining what happened and when and who was involved. Think about what you would like to ask for to resolve the situation, for example, an apology and a commitment to providing staff training in breastfeeding rights.
What can I do if I’m not happy with the response?
If you have made a complaint and you are unhappy about the establishments response, you can take a case in a County Court in England. You should seek advice as these can be expensive cases to bring. You must start the case within 6-months of the day that it happened. This time limit will only be extended in very exceptional circumstances.
If you win your case, the Court can order compensation which can include an amount for injury to feelings. The Court can also issue an injunction or make a declaration that you have been discriminated against. If you lose, you may be ordered to pay the other side’s legal costs, so it is very important to get expert advice.
It is essential to get up-to-date advice as law and guidance changes. This guide is for information purposes only and should not be treated as legal advice. You are strongly advised to get personal legal advice about the individual circumstances of your case.
Where to go for more help
- Maternity Action: For information on maternity and parental rights at work and benefits: www.maternityaction.org.uk Tel: 0808 802 0029
- Civil Legal Advice: If you are eligible for legal aid you can get free legal advice on 0345 345 4 345 (offers translation service). To check your eligibility: https://www.gov.uk/civil-legal-advice
- Equality Advisory Support Service: Help and advice on discrimination and human rights: https://www.equalityadvisoryservice.com/ Tel: 0808 800 0082 (Mon-Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 10am-2pm)
- Equalities and Human Rights Commission: For information and advice about discrimination law: www.equalityhumanrights.com
- GOV.UK: The Government’s online information service: www.gov.uk
Disclaimer: the information on this webpage will be updated as and when an establishment informs South Gloucestershire Council, otherwise it will be updated on a bi-annual basis (April and October). Should there be any incorrect information, the Council is not held accountable or liable.