The government recently enacted Decree 001-2016-MIMP, which requires employers to establish a nursing mother's milk extraction area (NMMEA) that fulfils certain criteria at any workplace with 20 or more female employees of a fertile age (ie, between 15 years old and 49 years old).
NMMEAs must be located within the workplace and away from dangerous, contaminated or risk-prone areas. An employer can establish the NMMEA outside the workplace only if:
- it is located in an adjacent area;
- there are justified reasons for doing so; and
- it is easily accessible.
The NMMEA should ideally be located on the first or second floor of the workplace, unless the workplace has an elevator. The employer must be able to provide disabled access to the NMMEA.
Employers must undertake certain tasks to guarantee the optimal functioning of the NMMEA, such as:
- promoting, informing and training employees on the benefits of nursing;
- promoting the NMMEA's use;
- preparing internal procedures and regulations for using and accessing the NMMEA;
- implementing NMMEA user and attendance registries;
- installing signs indicating the NMMEA's location; and
- providing for the NMMEA to be cleaned each work shift on a permanent basis.
In order to comply with the decree, the NMMEA must:
- be at least 10 square metres in size; and
- be used only to express and preserve breast milk.
The NMMEA should allow for privacy by way of curtains, screens or divisions. The legislature's intention is for nursing mothers to be comfortable. Therefore, the NMMEA must also contain:
- a sink or clean-water dispenser;
- cleaning utensils (eg, paper-towel dispensers, soap dispensers and a closed rubbish bin); and
- a refrigerator or other appliance in which to preserve the breast milk.
The purpose of the decree is to promote nursing and provide working mothers with facilities to express and preserve breast milk.
Employers that fail to comply with the decree could be subject to an inspection and a fine. However, certain inconsistencies may occur in this regard. For instance, the decree fails to consider the possibility that a workplace's female employees may be of a fertile age, but may not be nursing. In such case, the employer would still have to implement an NMMEA – even though it would not be in use – and could be fined if it fails to comply with the decree.
For further information on this topic please contact Jorge Toyama Miyagusuku or Flavia Zarins at Miranda & Amado Abogados by telephone (+51 1 610 4747) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The Miranda & Amado Abogados website can be accessed at www.mafirma.pe.
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