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Parent - Caregiver Feeding Rooms at Otago Polytechnic - Guidelines

Approval Date
1 June 2020
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
30 November 2022
Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety

Guidelines for parents / caregivers whose child(ren) require feeding while on Otago Polytechnic Limited (Ltd) Dunedin campus.


In conjunction with the Employment Relations (Breaks, Infant Feeding and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2008 Otago Polytechnic Limited will, where it is reasonable and practicable, provide appropriate facilities and breaks for staff and learners who wish to breastfeed, or express milk for an infant during work/study hours. The amendment balances the need to support the work-life balance and childcare responsibilities of employees, with work commitments.

Note: Otago Polytechnic Limited Childcare Centre – Polykids, is covered by separate legislation and regulation.


These guidelines are intended to apply to all staff, learners, visitors, and other members of the Polytechnic community when they are responsible for infants and children on Otago Polytechnic Limited Dunedin campus.

Otago Polytechnic Limited is committed to supporting staff and learners with childcare responsibilities to succeed in their work and study, without impacting negatively on the work or study environment of others. In its support of staff and learners Otago Polytechnic Limited will not discriminate, on the grounds of family responsibility or gender.

Reasons for staff and learners bringing infants and children on campus (in lecture theatres, tutorials, events etc.) may include (but are not limited to):

  • infant feeding
  • taking children to or from Early Childhood Education Centres e.g. Polykids
  • attending social events which include children
  • short term arrangements due to non-communicable ill health or holiday care needs.

Staff: Information about Otago Polytechnic Ltd’s commitment to support the continuation of infant feeding at work on a staff member’s return to work after a period of parental leave via Tūhono and the Otago Polytechnic Ltd website. A conversation between the staff member and their Formal Leader is encouraged to discuss flexible and reasonable timeframes for feeding breaks balanced with work commitments.

Learners: Information about available infant feeding and changing rooms is available on the student hub and on the website under learner rights and responsibilities. Additional information and advice can be obtained from the Otago Polytechnic Students Association (OPSA).

Otago Polytechnic Ltd provides the following rooms as quiet spaces for parents/caregivers to feed their infant, however each room has variable and limited resources. Separate changing facilities are also available.

F121 – Parents Room

  • Lazy boy chair
  • First aid kit
  • Hold and cold running sink –not sterile water
  • Lockable door

F121 does not have designated fridge space for the storage of expressed or prepared milk.

A change table is located in the all gender toilet next door – please remove all nappies from this area after use.

G313 – (OPSA Parent/Caregiver room and Kowhai centre room)
Accessible for feeding Monday to Wednesday only (multiple use room)

  • Couch
  • Fridge
  • No lock on door (multiple use room.)
  • No sink or running water

G321 female toilet has hot and cold running sink – not sterile water

No change facilities on level 3 at this time.

G214 female toilet has freestanding table with change mat available please remove all nappies from this area after use.

General Guidelines:

  • Refer to Otago Polytechnic Ltd policies concerning leave and flexible work arrangements for staff with caring responsibilities;
  • Employees are entitled to use their sick leave to care for babies and children (or a dependent family member);
  • Responsibility for all aspects of an infant or child’s behaviour and responsibility for their safety rests solely with their parent and/or caregiver;
  • It is advisable for parents/caregivers as a matter of courtesy and safety, to advise the relevant manager or lecturer when children are present. Notification may not always be appropriate, for example, if babies and children are in transit through an area not subject to restrictions and where no safety issues arise;
  • If the presence of babies and children will impact on other staff and/or learners, or raise safety issues, the parent/caregiver should ensure plans are in place and agreed so as to ensure minimum disruption, and to ensure the children in their care are safe;
  • Requests for infants and children being present on campus will, so far as reasonably possible, be accommodated with flexibility and sensitivity;
  • If a manager or lecturer has concerns about an infant or child being present in an area for which they have responsibility, these concerns are to be discussed with the parent/caregiver as soon as possible with a view to seeking a resolution;
  • The presence of infants and children on a field trip must be approved by the person in charge of the field trip before the event takes place;
  • Infants and children present on Otago Polytechnic Ltd premises are not permitted in the areas of the Polytechnic where:
  • there are health and safety issues, such as workshops or studios where chemicals are stored, near plant rooms or other hazardous areas;
  • material and equipment which could be easily damaged are kept;
  • material which may be offensive or disturbing to children is stored or on display.
  • When children are in offices in which confidential or sensitive materials are kept, they must be supervised at all times. The risk includes documents and information in all formats including soft and hard copy.
  • Learner parents/caregivers may seek advice from OPSA, their school/college office or other learner support staff.
  • Staff parents/caregivers can refer issues to their Formal Leader or the DCE: People, Culture and Safety (or delegate).
  • It is recommended that schools/colleges establish protocols relevant to their particular circumstances. This may include a waiver of the need to advise the relevant manager/lecturer if that is considered unnecessary or clear restrictions on areas which pose a risk to health and safety. It is also recommended that such protocols are well communicated, e.g. in staff induction.

For more information or direction to locate the rooms please contact:

  • OPSA – ground floor the Hub
  • Customer Services – ground floor Mason Centre, the Hub
  • Learner Success – ground floor H block, The Hub
  • Health and Safety Team - S101