Venezuelan SCJ confirms the obligatory nature of the breastfeeding regime in working days
11 enero 2018

The Official Gazette No. 41.316, published a ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) which clarifies the scope of the breastfeeding regime in working days, both in public and private sectors. It states, with a binding nature, that once the postnatal leave is over, the mother may request a license to continue breastfeeding. The text emphasizes that the government must guarantee the possibility of breastfeeding until the newborn is two years old.

The promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding at the workplace should be understood as a legally-provided leave for the working mother until the infant reaches two years of age. Breastfeeding may be done along with complementary feeding, which is understood as any food introduced into the diet of a child, who is six months old or more, without quitting breast milk. This license is different from the permission granted for pre and postnatal rest.

The amount and duration of breaks during the day depends on whether the workplace has a lactation room or an initial education center or not. If these facilities are available in the workplace, the mother is allowed two breaks of thirty minutes each. Otherwise, the mother will have two breaks of one and a half hours each.

The judgment of the Supreme Court of Justice establishes that, in order to have access to this benefit, the mother must present a monthly health check certificate of the child  to the employer. This certificate must meet the following requirements:

  • Be issued by a health center.
  • Record the timely assistance to the consultation, breastfeeding and, if appropriate, the health condition of the mother and her son or daughter.

In addition, it clarifies that the mother is not obliged to ask for the license and that it does not necessarily have to last for the whole two years.