On April 23, 2019, the ministries of Health and Labor signed the Inter-ministerial Agreement 003-2019 in Quito, between. This agreement implemented regulations on lactation spaces for private companies. Private employers in Ecuador are now obligated to create and maintain a lactation support room in their facilities, in the event that they have a single employee nursing a child during the legally required period, which extends for the first year of the child’s life. By mutual agreement between the employer and the employee, this period can be extended for 12 further months, until the child is two years old.
During this year, the employer is required permit the employee to be allotted 20 minutes per 2 hours of work to express her breast milk or nurse her child, and this time may not be charged to leave, vacation, or sick time, nor discounted from overtime, as applicable. If the agreement is extended for a second year, employers must provide 20 minutes per 3 hours of work.
The law requires that the rooms used to express milk be comfortable, hygienic, accessible, and suitable places for employees to either express breast milk or nurse their children, as well as preserve the milk—which requires refrigeration.
Compliance with this requirement of creating and maintaining lactation rooms must be registered in the SUT portal of the Ministry of Labor. In addition, employers must maintain records of time granted to nursing mothers
The agreement requires employers to comply with the regulations by October 20, 2019.
Written by Patricia Andrade of Paz Horowitz and Daniel D. Dauplaise of Ogletree Deakins
© 2019 Paz Horowitz and Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart, P.C.