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Nearly three-quarters of employers now offer onsite lactation rooms, SHRM survey finds

The share of organizations with lactation rooms rose 19 percentage points from last year, likely due to the PUMP Act.
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Most employers now offer separate rooms for nursing employees to pump milk, a survey of members of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents said their organization offered an “onsite lactation/mother’s room,” according to SHRM’s 2024 employee benefits survey, which was fielded from Jan. 18–March 5. That’s up 19 percentage points from last year, when 54% of respondents reported their organizations did so.

This considerable uptick is likely due to the PUMP Act, a federal law that went into effect last year that amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and requires employers to give workers a “reasonable break time” whenever they have to express breast milk for the first year when they’re nursing, HR Brew previously reported. Under the law, nursing employees are also entitled to have a private space to pump that’s shielded from view and free from intrusion.

“Just from this one law, you can see the expansion of this,” Calven Engstrom, a SHRM researcher, said at the organization’s annual conference on June 24 in Chicago. The share of employers offering lactation support services such as consulting and education also rose slightly YOY, from 12% to 13%.

Other types of parental support stay steady. The study found that other types of benefits for new parents remained largely unchanged from 2023.

Two out of five respondents said their organizations offered paid parental leave, up 1% from 2023, while 39% offered maternity leave and 32% offered paternity leave. The share of employers offering the latter two types of leave has declined since 2020, when more than half (53%) offered maternity leave, and 44% offered paternity leave.

Despite the drop-off the survey tracked after the first year of the pandemic, the more recent numbers suggest “organizations that implemented these new paid leave policies are actually sticking with them,” Engstrom said.

And while workers’ caregiving needs are a growing concern for employers, the share of organizations offering childcare benefits—such as subsidized care, referral services, or a dependent care flexible savings account (FSA)—didn’t change more than 1% over the past year. FSAs remain the most popular benefit in this category, with 58% of employers offering them, while just 3% offer a subsidized child care center or program, the survey found.

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

From recruiting and retention to company culture and the latest in HR tech, HR Brew delivers up-to-date industry news and tips to help HR pros stay nimble in today’s fast-changing business environment.