KENYA – Nestlé Kenya will Tuesday morning launch a breastfeeding room as an initiative to make it a friendly employer to women.
The firm, which produces products like Nescafé, Maggi, Milo and KitKat, has built the facility in compliance with its parent company’s policy that requires all subsidiaries with over 50 female employees to have such a room.
Nestlé Kenya also announced early this month plans to introduce paternity leave of up to six months for male employees who are sole caregivers of their families by the end of this year.
Jacqueline Mugo, the executive director for the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) is expected to commission the facility in a show of support for women combining breastfeeding and work.
“The Federation aims to have the model breastfeeding centre replicated by all employers to accommodate breastfeeding in the workplace,” stated a notice released by Nestlé.
Swiss-based Nestlé is implementing a maternity protection policy that entitles lactating employees to “reasonable daily breaks or a daily reduction of work hours” to enable them breastfeed their newborns.
The firm, which currently has over 290 breastfeeding rooms across the world, requires that these facilities be built in head offices and sites with more than 50 female employees. Nestlé Kenya has 280 employees, 90 of whom are female.
The parent company’s new global policy also made half-day postnatal working schedule mandatory across all Nestlé markets seeking to ensure women exclusively breastfeed their children for half-a-year.
It also requires that “primary caregivers” (including men) should be eligible for fully paid leave days of up to 14 weeks, which can be extended to six months on a portion of the worker’s salary.
“This policy will help us better support mothers and their families in our sites across the world and reinforces our support for exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of a child’s life,” said Peter Vogt, the chief Human Resource officer for Nestlé S.A.
The move by Nestlé exemplifies a growing push by a number of multinational companies to improve the welfare of parents among their workforce.