The conciliation service Acas said it received more than 14,000 calls last year on the subjects, a 10 per cent rise on the previous year.
Firms are being urged to make sure staff on maternity leave are told about training or promotion opportunities, while pregnancy-related absences must not be included in an employee’s record.
Julie Denis, head of diversity and inclusion at Acas, said:
It’s fantastic that pregnancy and maternity discrimination is protected by the law, but calls to our helpline show that this is still an issue.
Women should not suffer any unfair treatment while pregnant or on maternity leave, and most employers treat their employees fairly. Those that don’t could find themselves at an employment tribunal.
This new guidance can help managers deal fairly with women at work in areas such as recruitment, promotion and redundancy.
The guidance recommends that firms provide a suitable place for pregnant employees to rest, and to deal with any health and safety risks.