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Employers in Ireland will have to provide breastfeeding facilities during working hours for the first four months after childbirth if new mothers choose not to take their full maternity leave. The government has also promised to bring the country into line with the rest of the European Union on maternity leave, increasing paid maternity leave from 14 to 18 weeks and unpaid maternity leave from four to eight weeks.
The changes, due next year, come after talks between the government and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, which were held as part of a review of the government's social contract with unions and employers.
Joan Carmichael, the congress industrial …