Business owner Katie Hopkins said it was vital to cut back the "red tape" of maternity legislation for small businesses, and that women are starting to "legislate themselves out of the workplace."
In the studio with Katie O'Donovan from Mumsnet to discuss the discrimination reported by a quarter of working mothers, she said:
"I think what you hear out there on the market from small businesses is that given the choice between a man or a woman, would I take on a women? No I would not. I think women are starting to legislate themselves out of the workplace. "
We asked subscribers on the ITV News Facebook page their thoughts new research that found at least 25 percent of working mothers feel discriminated against in the work place while pregnant or after returning to their job.
Myrisha Connelly said: "This happened to me when I was expecting my child, and that was over 11 years ago."
Moises Sanchez said: "It's a stupid workaholic culture... leaving family behind... Companies and government need to stop being greedy...."
"My immediate bosses has been so supportive since I returned to work after my first child was born. Now I am pregnant again, they are great", Fiona Emslie said.
Join the debate and let us know what you think at email@example.com or on Facebook
Small to medium businesses need an "enormous amount of government support" so they can afford to help female staff members through maternity leave, said writer Liz Fraser.
Her call was echoed by beauty business owner, Rachel Carr, who wanted more legislation to "protect" businesses.
Many women are still facing “archaic” attitudes at work after giving birth, a report has found.
Two out of five of the women interviewed by law firm Slater & Gordon said they believed younger, childless colleagues were given more support and encouragement.
Employment Minister Jo Swinson did not outright criticise the report findings, but said the Government was committed to “the best use of women’s talents”
"It is illegal to sack a woman because she is pregnant or on maternity leave," she said.
"Such action constitutes pregnancy discrimination and could result in an employer in front of an employment tribunal.
"The Government is committed to making sure that more businesses make the best use of women's talents throughout the organisation, from boardroom to the shop floor."
One in five mothers returning to work in the UK after maternity leave feel they need to “prove themselves” to their bosses, despite already working for their employers for some time, a new report found.
The data, put together by law firm Slater & Gordon, found more than one in four women felt discriminated against in the work place after having a child.
At least 25 percent of working mothers feel discriminated against in the work place while pregnant or after returning to their job, research has found.
Almost 2,000 British working mums said they had not bothered to complain about the unfair treatment and at least 50 percent felt they had not been taken seriously after having a child.
The report, compiled by law firm Slater & Gordon, also revealed a third of women found it “impossible” to climb the career ladder after giving birth.
The poorest working mothers will be hit hard by proposed welfare reforms, according to the charity Save the Children. The charity says 150,000 working parents will lose up to £68 a week.