The Code of Ethics for Leaders is produced by the La Leche League GB Council of Directors to provide guidelines for how Leaders present themselves when acting as or being recognised as representatives of LLLGB.
LEADERS WITH PERSONAL, PROFESSIONAL OR COMMERCIAL INTERESTS
Leaders, when representing the organisation, shall always endeavour to:-
- respect their trusted positions with mothers
- not seek to profit financially from mothers through their interactions with them as Leaders
- not promote their personal opinions or interests outside of the scope of LLLI philosophy.
Some Leaders may be engaged in paid professions and businesses which offer products or services of value to mothers. Leaders shall make all efforts to separate their roles as Leaders from these paid professions. A Leader who is also a paid professional or businessperson shall offer choices to mothers, in addition to her own products or services, when appropriate and possible.
An example is if a mother is referred to an LLL Leader and needs the services of a breast pump agent, a Leader who is one may rent her a pump. The mother can expect to pay the rental fees no matter where she gets a pump; however, the help she receives from an LLL Leader is given as a volunteer. Therefore, no service charge may be added to the rental fee and the Leader will be clear with the mother in what capacity the Leader is interacting with the mother.
Where a Leader is also a lactation consultant she does not make referrals to herself for pay. When a Leader accepts an LLL-referred phone call, she is expected to help the mother to her fullest capability without charge. If that particular situation requires more time or extra care beyond the remit of a Leader, the volunteer Leader still does not undertake that care or charge for her services, even if she is the only paid lactation consultant in the community. If referrals are received from professionals in the community, a Leader/lactation consultant needs to decide if a call is an LLL or lactation consultant call. In this case she may want to install a second phone line for business calls or refrain from accepting LLL phone calls. She will spend time at thebeginning of the conversation to determine in which capacity the contact was made, then help the mother to the best of her ability in that role.
If the mother needs to be seen in person or needs extended help beyond the usual telephone call, the Leader can make a personal visit to the mother’s home or hospital or invite the mother to the Leader’s home. If a Leader doses not wish to make home visits, she can refer the mother to a Leader who does. It is not appropriate to offer LLL phone help and then charge as a lactation consultant for a visit. Such cases can be referred to another lactation consultant if a Leader who does home visits is not available.
LLLGB fully supports the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions relevant to the International Code.
All Leaders will protect the LLLGB reputation as a responsible, reliable provider of accurate, up-to-date information and mother-to-mother support for breastfeeding and will maintain sufficient autonomy and independence in order to work effectively on that mission.
Leaders may seek a diverse range of funding from:-
- individual donations/contributions
- grants from acceptable charitable foundations, governments or public agencies
- appropriate commercial sources (see below)
Leaders shall choose sources of funding carefully. Before choosing a funding source, the Leader will research its products and ownership structure, using our international networks and any relevant publications in print and online. Leaders and employees working on funding issues will support each other by sharing information and will be mutually affirming and accountable world-wide.
Support of the International Code
Written agreements and contracts governing sponsorship will include the information that LLLGB fully supports the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions relevant to the International Code. Leaders shall not enter into sponsorship or endorsement or licensing agreements with any organisation that violates the International Code nor accept advertisements or exhibits from such organisations. The term ‘organisation’ includes subsidiaries and parent companies of known International Code violators. New contracts shall specify that breaches of this provision that occur or become apparent during the term of the contract will result in the contract being terminated.
Leaders shall respect legal requirements governing donations in their locality. Leaders will provide opportunities for individual donors to opt out of any lists shared with a thirdparty. Leaders may accept donations/contributions from individuals and from commercial sources and shall retain the option to decline a donation. Leaders shall decide how to acknowledge a donation.
Sponsorship by a commercial company for LLLGB
Sponsorship describes a relationship of mutual benefit to LLLGB and the sponsor, where the name and/or logo of a company appears with the name and/or logo of LLLGB.
Sponsorship agreements shall be in writing and authorised by the Council of Directors of LLLGB. The agreement shall include (but not be limited to) clauses enabling the Leader to end the relationship. These clauses shall specify end points at agreed-upon intervals and provide for termination of the contract if changes occur in the company that may undermine breastfeeding as defined by La Leche League.
Endorsements and licensing agreements
LLLI Board of Directors is the only body that may authorise an endorsement or licensing agreement by any part of LLL of any product or company.
Advertisements and Exhibits
All LLL publications may include advertisements. LLL events may include exhibits. Acceptance of advertisements and/or of exhibits does not constitute an endorsement. Statements to this effect shall be made in publications and in event and exhibition programmes.
The following shall not be advertised nor exhibited:-
- any product that has been documented as harmful to the breastfed baby
- any product incompatible with LLLI purpose or philosophy (see LLLI Bylaws and PSR Appendix 1)
A written, legal contract that protects LLLGB from liability shall cover all advertisements and/or exhibits.
Contractual Relationships with Commercial Companies
When considering a relationship with a commercial company, LLLGB should keep in mind that any relationship lends LLLGB’s credibility to the company, and that even a donation in kind is a trade – the gift for advertising exposure for the company.
Criteria to keep in mind include:-
- advertising is a relationship and needs to be governed by a contract
- written contracts should contain time limits
- early termination provisions and termination for cause provisions, to give the LLLGB the option to terminate if the other party engages in conduct that (in the opinion of the LLLGB) violates the WHO Code, or if the company is purchased by a group that violates said Code
LLLGB Council of Directors February 2017