Failure to conduct adequate Risk Assessment for Breastfeeding Mother is Discriminatory

The European Court of Justice has recently held that a failure to conduct an adequate risk assessment for a breastfeeding employee may amount to sex discrimination.

In Otero Ramos v Servicio Galego de Saude, the employer conducted an inadequate risk assessment of the employee's workplace and concluded that breastfeeding was 'risk free'. The employee was a nurse and when she made a flexible working request, the employer refused the request on the basis that the risk assessment had concluded that there were no risks in the employee breastfeeding at work.

The ECJ held that if it can be established that the risk assessment was defective or not done then it may give rise to a prima facie case of discrimination. To avoid liability on this point, employers will need to show that they have conducted a meaningful risk assessment and not just paid lip service to the requirement.

Should you find yourself in this position then please contact Greystone Legal for further advice.

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