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Pregnant women and new mums suffer rise in discrimination at work

Charity Citizens Advice say women need to be supported at work. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Pregnant women and new mothers are suffering growing discrimination at work, according to a new report.

Citizens Advice has revealed that the unfair treatment against women in the work place includes cuts in hours, being put on zero-hours contracts, or even being forced out of their jobs.

The charity said there had been a 25 percent increase in people seeking advice on pregnancy and maternity issues in the past year, with more than 22,000 visits to its website.

Citizens Advice has seen cases of women having their hours cut or not receiving maternity pay. Credit: atie Collins/PA Wire/

One woman's employer cut her weekly hours by more than half after she told them she was pregnant.

Her boss claimed there was not enough work available to keep her on her previous hours, despite taking on new staff at the same time.

Another woman had her contract ended while she was on maternity leave, only finding out after she contacted her employer to ask why she had received no maternity pay.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said that the rise in discrimination issues at work against new and expectant mothers is "concerning".

She added that pregnant women should be supported at work and not be made to fear for their livelihood.

People with a baby on the way will have a lot on their minds already.

The last thing they need is a threat to their income or job security.

All employers should respect and uphold the rights of staff who are new parents or expecting a baby.

– Gillian Guy, Citizens Advice