'Babies at work' initiative is a program whose time has come, Sununu says
Staff reports 1:38 p.m.
Monday, December 9, 2019 1:38 pm
Governor Chris Sununu ... says this will make NH a more attractive place for young families to live and work (Courtesy photo)
CONCORD - Governor Chris Sununu today launched New Hampshire's 'Infants in the Workplace' initiative by signing an Executive Order that will empower Executive Branch Agencies to opt-in to allowing infants between the ages of six weeks and six months into the workplace.
"'Infants in the Workplace' is a game-changer, and takes another step with our State of New Hampshire 21st Century workplace initiatives," said Governor Chris Sununu. "These efforts are helping move New Hampshire forward as a place people want to work and to help state government stay competitive in such a strong economy."
This Executive Order and policy was written in coordination with the Governor's office, the Department of Administrative Services, and the Department of Justice. To ensure the health and well-being of infants, parents and all employees, there are safety measures in place, including safety checks of parents' work spaces, proper health procedures, designating a "care provider" who can assist if needed, and more. This is a voluntary, opt-in program, and each department head can determine who in their office or department is eligible to participate.
In conjunction with Gov. Sununu's proposed voluntary paid family leave program, this initiative can provide working families with options to give their kids the healthiest possible start to life while allowing them to remain in the workforce if they choose to, a statement sent by the Governor's Office stated today.
"Research shows that allowing parents to remain with their infants in the earliest stage of life supports critical bonding, healthy infant brain development, and parental well-being," the statement added. "This initiative provides parents an option to remain in the workforce, improves employee retention, optimizes parent-infant bonding and breastfeeding, improves the health of both the parent and baby, helps our employees save on child care costs, and increases job satisfaction and a positive work-life balance."
The following Executive Agencies have all agreed to opt-in to 'Infants in the Workplace:'
- Governor's Office
- Office of Strategic Initiatives
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Education
- Department of Administrative Services
- Department of Business and Economic Affairs
- Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
- Department of Labor
- Department of Employment Security
- Department of Insurance
- Governor's Commission on Disability
- Lottery Commission
- Department of Environmental Services
- Department of Corrections
- Department of Justice
- Banking Department
- Liquor Commission
- Information Technology
- Department of Revenue Administration
- Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food
- Human Rights Commission
- Department of Fish and Game
- Office of Professional Licensure and Certification
- New Hampshire Adjutant General's Department
- New Hampshire State Treasury
- Public Utilities Commission