A court has this week ordered the payment of €2,500 to a breastfeeding mother, over ‘unfair’ treatment following the birth of her child.
According to a report by the Irish Examiner, the unnamed woman appeared before a hearing of the Workplace Relations Committee (WRC) seeking an order granting her a transfer to be closer to her family home.
An ambulance paramedic, the woman gave birth to her son in December 2014. With the child born prematurely, the mother followed the advice of her doctors by breastfeeding him.
With her maternity leave coming to an end, and intentions to breastfeed her child until the age of two; the mother requested a work transfer so that she could be closer to home. Her arrangements at the time required her to travel a total of approximately four hours and 20 minutes each day.
Unfortunately for the mother, her employer took a whole seven months to deal with her request, and she is still waiting on a panel for a permanent transfer to a more accommodating work route.
She has reportedly been on sick leave due to ‘stress’ since last November, following her maternity leave.
In an emotionally-charged testimony, the mother condemned her employer’s behaviour, describing is at ‘shameful and unfair’, adding that it ‘paints a picture of a male-dominated workplace that shows little or no regard for the welfare of their post-pregnancy employees or their newborn children’.
While the adjudicating officer acknowledged that the mother’s ordeal was 'unfair', he said a lack of vacancy meant he could not recommend the granting of a permanent work transfer. This means that she must continue to wait on the transfer panel.
The employer was, however, ordered to pay the mother €2,500 in compensation for the delay in dealing with her request.
What are your thoughts on the outcome of this case?