According to Dutch law (Arbeidstijdenwet, Voedingsrecht, article 4.8, see here), during the first nine months after giving birth, women have the right to receive the time and opportunity to feed their baby or express milk during work time. Employers are obliged to offer an appropriate space for doing so. The time needed to do this – to a maximum of 25% of the work time per day – counts as work time that qualifies for payment. This implies that task assignments to women who breastfeed or express milk need to be adapted accordingly after they return to work. For example, we know that on the basis of this, some employers decide to extend the length of employment of a temporary contract with 25% of the working hours during the nine-month right to pump milk. However, this is certainly not known everywhere and not generally regulated.
The Angels often receive messages from female researchers indicating that not all employers and supervisors in the Netherlands are aware of these regulations. In many university buildings no appropriate space for breastfeeding or expressing milk is available (see also: https://nrc.nl/nieuws/2019/03/21/de-absurdistisch-slechte-kolfruimtes-van-23-nederlandse-vrouwen-a3954098).
Yet, there are many options possible for doing so, and with some creativity short term or temporary solutions can be offered, for instance at conferences.
Utrecht University has made an inventory of the facilities that can be found at each university building. This is available through their website, and allows employees, students, and visitors to identify ahead of time where they can find a lactation room, and how it is equipped (see also: https://students.uu.nl/en/contact/buildings).
With this notice we want to remind everyone of these rights and call on you to arrange this properly (or have it arranged) within your own institution.