Mothers to breastfeed at work, have flexible work plans if new Bill is passed

Mothers to breastfeed at work, have flexible work plans if new Bill is passed

A portrait photo depicting a mother breastfeeding her child.

Lactating mothers will have the freedom to breastfeed in public settings or at their workplaces if a new Breastfeeding Bill is passed by the National Assembly. 

The public has been invited to submit memoranda on the Breastfeeding Bill 2024 sponsored by nominated Member of Parliament Sabina Chege and sailed through the first reading on May 2, 2024. 

The legal framework seeks to support lactating mothers who wish to breastfeed at their works stations, and also provide them with a flexible working plan. The approach will see children benefit from exclusive, as recommended by health practitioners, while upholding the employment rights of working mums. 


The Bill proposes a requirement that employers provide a lactation facility where mothers can breastfeed or express milk during their working hours. 

“Any employer who does not comply with this section commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding one million shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or t o both,” the Bill proposes. 

Owners of buildings accessible to the public, with an occupancy capacity of more than 50 persons will also be required to provide baby changing facilities. 

The facilities should be clean and private, have a changing table, waste bucket, and clear signs indicating its location.

“A person who is accompanied by a baby in public may use any baby changing facility within reasonable distance for the purposes of cleaning and changing,” the Bill prescribes. 

Under the Bill, the act of breastfeeding in public shall not be construed to amount to an indecent act.


The Bill requires employers to provide a reasonable break time for mothers to breastfeed their children or express milk. 

Breastfeeding time shall be prescribed by the Cabinet Secretary in charge of social protection. 

“Where circumstances require a baby to be breastfed for a long period exceeding the time prescribed by regulations, the mother may with the written instructions from a registered medical practioner, breastfeed the baby for a longer period.”

A breastfeeding mother may also apply for a flexible work arrangement from their employer, where they agree on number of working hours, type of assignments, and the work station. 

Where the employer rejects the application, the employer shall provide a written statement stating reasons for rejection. On the other hand, the arrangement may be revoked when abused. 


A Kenya Private Sector report in 2020 revealed that only 37 companies in Kenya have lactation rooms. While the private sector is leading in the installation of breastfeeding facilities, public institutions like the Kenya Power and Lighting Company have also established centres. 

Schools, which are the most common public institutions in the country are still lagging behind. 

The Kenya Women Teachers Association (KEWOTA) has since initiated a push to establish lactation centres in schools across Kenya

KEWOTA has challenged government and school heads to take up the responsibility to enable female teachers to fulfil their maternal responsibilities with dignity.

While constructing a facility can be time consuming, innovators in Kenya have established portable lactation suites fitted with all that mothers and babies need. 


Citizen TV Bill Citizen Digital Sabina Chege Breastfeeding

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