It is against the law to discriminate against a woman because she is pregnant or might become pregnant.
Pregnancy discrimination happens when a woman is treated less favourably than another person because she is pregnant or because she may become pregnant. It is also discrimination when there is an unreasonable requirement or practice that is the same for everyone but has an unfair effect on pregnant women.
Example: It could be discrimination if an employer does not hire a suitably qualified woman because she is married and the employer thinks she might become pregnant soon.
Example: It could be discrimination if a policy says that all employees must wear a particular uniform if it is difficult for a pregnant employee to wear that uniform.
Women who are pregnant should be able to continue to work in the same way and under the same conditions as other employees, unless there are valid medical or safety reasons.
Under the Sex Discrimination Act, a woman who returns to work after maternity leave has the right to return to the same job she had before going on leave. If the position no longer exists, she has the right to another job which is as close as possible in pay and responsibilities to the one she held before.