There has been an increase in pregnancy-related redundancies There has been an "alarming" increase in the number of redundancies taking place in the UK surrounding pregnant women, one sector commentator has alleged.

Sharon Smee, campaigns and policy officer at the Fawcett Society, said that before the recession, some 30,000 women lost their jobs each year as a result of expecting a child.

She went on to state that amid the financial downturn this figure looked set to increase further still.

"It appears some employers are using the recession as an excuse to break the law on discrimination," she said.

Ms Smee explained that a group of organisations have formed the Alliance Against Pregnancy Discrimination in the workplace.

As part of the scheme, the groups have set up phone helplines to provide legal advice and that these had "clear evidence" that pregnancy-related redundancies were occurring in the UK’s workplaces.

The Fawcett Society is the UK’s leading campaign for equality between women and men